Michael Novakovic

Rođen:31.05.1932. (Hrvatska)

Preminuo:01.09.2022. (Villanova, Pennsylvania, Sjedinjene Američke Države)

Dob: 90

Novakovic Michael Age 90, died peacefully on September 1, 2022 at his home in Villanova with family by his side. Born on May 31, 1932 in Croatia, Mike immigrated to the United States in 1949 as a post-WW II refugee at the age of 17 with his mother, father, and siblings.

Mike graduated from Bronx High School and matriculated to Syracuse University where he met and married his surviving wife of 66 years, Phebe Sharp Baner Novakovic. After Mike and Phebe graduated from Syracuse, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force in which he served until retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1978.

Fluent in multiple languages, he served as an intelligence officer in Europe for over eight years at the height of the Cold War and had a tour in Vietnam in 1969, where he earned a Bronze Star with Valor. Following retirement from the Air Force, he started a small manufacturing company with facilities in two underserved areas in Pennsylvania and Mississippi.

For nearly 25 years, he provided employment opportunities to members of these communities, especially veterans and those with disabilities. Mike chronicled his journey in a 2016 published memoir, A Pilgrim for Freedom, which received a Kirkus Starred Review.

His childhood and wartime experiences of the tyranny of totalitarianism fueled a life-long gratitude for the protection and promise of the United States. Mike's love of country manifested itself in his military service and active support of veterans' causes locally and nationally.

Both his Air Force and small business careers represented different, but important ways he could give back to the nation he so loved. Mike's love and devotion to his family was total and steadfast. There was no stauncher ally and no greater defender of those he loved than Mike.

Memories of his hearty laugh, quick wit and demonstrative affection will endure with all those who knew and loved him. In addition to his wife Phebe, Mike is survived by their daughter Phebe Nevenka Novakovic (David) and son Michael Branko Novakovic (MaryBeth); grandchildren Alexandra Graves (Stephen), Natasha Jack (David), Sophia Chesnut (Benjamin), Michaela Novakovic (fiancé Anthony) and Nikolas Novakovic, as well as six great- grandchildren: David Jack, William Jack, Phebe Graves, Elizabeth Jack, Samuel Graves and Luke Chesnut. He is also survived by his brother Paul (Julie). Mike imparted his love of country and devotion to family to all who knew and loved him.

FOTO: Private

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