Lena passed away peacefully after living 97 wonderful years with her family by her side. Born in the Croatian colony near Bunker Hill in Los Angeles, she was the fourth child of Petar and Mandelina Bradarich.
At the age of two, her mother passed away giving birth to her brother, Anthony. Being widowed with five young children, Lena's father asked her aunt and uncle, Janina and Ivan Ban, to raise her. Lena grew up on her uncle's farm in Long Beach learning the definition of hard work at a young age by feeding chickens, slopping hogs and tending to vegetables.
She was a graduate of Long Beach Jordan High School and Woodbury Business College.She entered the construction industry becoming the trusted assistant to John Artukovich of P & J Artukovich Construction Company. She spent countless days traveling by train between Los Angeles and Oakland working on joint ventures with the Guy F Atkinson Company. This all changed when she fell in love with a farmer from the San Fernando Valley, Phil Boskovich.
Lena and Phil's first date was to a LA Dons football game and they were married on February 19, 1950 at St. Anthony's Croatian Catholic church in the same neighborhood where they were born. The first thing Phil did after a Catalina Island honeymoon was sell Lena's brand new Chevy convertible and used the funds to buy a tractor. The young couple lived on Phil's ranch on Saticoy Street in North Hollywood in a one bedroom farm house. After the birth of their second child they built a beautiful home in a walnut orchard in Van Nuys and that is where they raised their family for the next 25 years.
After WWII, Phil's brothers, George and John, joined him in business to form Boskovich Brothers Farms. Lena became the bookkeeper for the family farm, a role she would play for 25 years. The farm experienced tremendous growth in the 1950's and 60's with Lena handling all accounting, including handwriting 200 payroll checks every week but never neglecting her duties as a wife and a mother.
Lena was a born leader becoming president of nearly every group she joined, including St. Jane Frances Women's Guild, Notre Dame High School Altar Society, Delta Tau Delta Mother's Club, Pi Beta Phi Mothers Club, St. Anthony's Croatian Catholic Church Women's Guild and founder of St. Anthony's Senior Club. Lena had a lifelong association with St. Anthony's church and a deep love for her Catholic faith. St. Anthony parishioners would recognize the property where Lena was born, now the auxiliary parking lot on Grand Ave. bought by the church for $7,000 in 1960.
Lena and Phil lived in Westlake Village for the past 30 years in the same neighborhood as their two sons and nine of their grandchildren. Lena was a founding parishioner of St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church, and a long time supporter of the University of Southern California. Lena and Phil were life members of USC Associates and Cardinal and Gold.
As the matriarch of the Boskovich Family, Lena led an exemplary life and was widely respected by all who were lucky enough to have known her. True to her Croatian heritage, Lena's values can be traced to her unwavering Catholic faith, and selfless devotion to her husband, family, and friends. She was loving, never complained or had a bad day, and faced any trial in her life with strength, optimism, dignity, and grace.
She was kind, generous, and had a selfless heart never arriving anywhere empty-handed. At a moment's notice Lena could effortlessly prepare home-cooked meals for her family or a large gathering. Her recipes will be handed down and enjoyed by generations to come. She had self-taught class, exuded elegance and style, and was always impeccably dressed. Despite everything that she was able to accomplish, she never forgot her humble beginnings.
Lena had a heart of profound gratitude and keen appreciation for all the blessings that she had been given. This is her uniquely special legacy. Lena was predeceased by her husband Phil after 63 years of a loving marriage, and she is survived by children, Phil (Inge) of Agoura, Joe (Gail) of Westlake Village, Janine (John) Colich of Rancho Palos Verdes, thirteen grandchildren, Joe (Dianne), Katie, Ann Marie, Anthony and Christina (Kevin Jones) Boskovich, Philip, Bridget, Michele and Matthew Boskovich, Theresa, Donilo, Nicole (Reed Coté), and Michael Colich and five great-grandchildren. A special thanks and debt of gratitude to Lilliana Morales, Nilo Avena, and Gloria Ascencio for the meticulous and loving care they provided for Lena.
Funeral services will be held September 15 at 2pm at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Social distancing will be observed in the Cathedral and the Celebration of Life will be held outdoors in the Cathedral courtyard.
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