Nada Klisanic Gerovac

Rođena:20.07.1928. (Bosna i Hercegovina)

Preminula:06.07.2022. (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Sjedinjene Američke Države)

Dob: 93

On July 6th, 93-year-old Nada Gerovac walked eagerly into the hospital, joking with doctors and nurses, to have a straightforward medical procedure. Over the next few days, several unfortunate medical events converged. On July 15th, she had a stroke.

After a few days in ICU, on her 94th birthday she went into hospice care… On July 24, Nada Klisenic Gerovac, 94, of Plantation FL passed away, with her son by her side… Her death is particularly tragic, because until only a few days before, she was her usual self: vibrant, energetic and self-sufficient.

Nada was born in Yugoslavia (now Bosnia and Herzegovina) on July 20 1928. She survived World War II living with relatives in a small Croatian village. Despite missing years of schooling due to the war, she kept up her studies and after the war, got a job in administration at the local Town Hall. There she met Joseph Gerovac, an American builder. His family had come, from this same village, and he came back to help rebuild after the devastation of the war.

He was attracted to this very cute young woman with curly brown hair. 1948, they married. 1950, had a son. 1951, Joe was enticed by the building boom in SE Florida, and came to Hollywood. Six months later, Nada and son joined him. Six months after that, Joe suddenly died of heart failure… Determined, Nada remained in the US, learned English from comedies and drama on radio and TV… The 1950s and 60s were difficult for a single mother, discrimination against women was normal. She managed... She worked in electronics manufacturing, winding delicate toroidal transformers, employing the skills in delicate needlework she learned as a young girl…

Nada was a fantastic cook and baker. She brought food to neighborhood picnics and holiday gatherings. She made countless cookies and cupcakes for bake sales to raise money for schools… In the late 1960s, Nada worked in restaurants to learn the business. Ten years later, she opened her own bakery and shortly expanded to a full restaurant serving Yugoslavian cuisine. Anyone who tasted her strudel – sweet or savory – became a fan for life. For years after she closed the restaurant, people would recognize her on the street and ask, "Aren't you Nada, of Nada's Dubrovnik Restaurant?"

She was as thrilled as they were, to reminisce… As a teenager during WWII, Nada was heavily imprinted with both inevitable tragedy and overcoming adversity. She knew what even a small amount of help, and hope, could mean to a child. For decades, she made endless hats and comforters, raised funds, and did whatever was needed for many children's charities, especially the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital… When the pandemic started, she was 91 years old. Since masks were in short supply, she kept busy long into the night making hundreds of triple-layer cotton masks that she gave away to doctors, nurses, and friends. She stayed safe at home, disinfecting everything. She was vaccinated and boosted as soon as available…

Over the years, Nada amassed a huge number of loyal friends of all ages. She was always available to listen to their problems late into the night, never burdening them with her own. She was generous with her time, her food, and whatever she had… Up until her death, she was always full of energy, intellectually active, an avid reader, engaged in current events, and recently, distressed by the suffering of the displaced children of Ukraine.

Nada Gerovac is survived by her son, Branko, his wife, Becky, extended family, and many many good friends. She did not want a funeral or memorial. Simply think of wonderful times you spent with her.

FOTO: Private

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