Late on the evening of January 2, 2024 Steve Alosinac (Stjepan Alosinac) drew his last breath, passing away peacefully in the home he shared with his beloved wife of 70 years, Maria.
He led an extraordinary life defined by meticulous discipline, self-determination and an indomitable spirit. His countless business and personal achievements were driven by an internal moral compass that directed him to continually seek a better way forward.
The patriarch of a close and loving family and a revered businessman, he will be best remembered as a gracious and noble man whose quiet dignity and many kindnesses will be profoundly missed.
Born in Osijek on August 12, 1931 to Terezija and Florijan Aloinac, he trained as a cabinet maker in his father's workshop where he developed his entrepreneurial instinct for large scale manufacturing that would be the foundation of his business success. And it was in Osijek that he married the love of his life, the vivacious beauty Marija Nosic in 1953 and started a family with the arrival of their cherished daughter eljka.
In Post War Yugoslavia the entrenchment of Communism left little opportunity for advancement or entrepreneurship, so Steve made the difficult decision to escape with his family to Canada. They arrived in Toronto on Remembrance Day 1957 to empty streets, alone with little funds and no place to live.
With help from the Croatian community, they shared a flat, found factory work, learned English at night school and through movie screens and lived off one salary to save enough to build their dream of a better life in their adopted country. Soon the family grew again with the addition of daughters Diane and Michele, a new subdivision home and a new business venture, Zest Furniture Industries.
Always searching for ways to expand his prospects and his mind, Steve became an innovator in manufacturing, developing patents and systems that pioneered global furniture fabrication. Throughout the 70's and into the 2000's, Zest Furniture Industries and Fleetwood Fine Furniture produced case goods for many of the finest hotels around the world. Mr. A., as he was known by the hundreds of employees who worked for him over the years, was esteemed for his integrity, intelligence and quiet dignity.
At 6'3' and always impeccably dressed in a suit and tie, he was a beacon of refinement and wise counsel that drew people to him from corporate boardrooms to plant assembly lines. Over the last three decades he diversified his enterprises and proudly built a commercial real estate portfolio as Founder and Chairman of the Rodenbury Investment Group with over 3,000,000 square feet of commercial space in the GTA.
Steve was an avid reader of history and biographies and filled his home with volumes on triumphs and failures in politics, business or culture. He stayed up to date on world affairs reading two daily newspapers and watching multiple broadcast news programs. He was a natural athlete excelling at squash and skiing, taking top honours in his squash league at the Skyline Club and travelling to peaks in Europe and North America for helicopter skiing.
From that first fateful night on a dance floor in Osijek in 1951, Steve and Maria would gracefully glide across hundreds of ballrooms in love in each other's arms for the next 70 years. His greatest joy and highest achievement was having his family around him. He credited his successes in life to Maria's dedicated support.
He delighted in his three daughters and, as Deda, took great pride in his six close knit grandchildren and two step grandchildren and in recent years was able to see his great-grandchildren grow and thrive. As patriarch of the family, his smiles presided over their home as the gathering place for all holidays and celebrations, drops-ins and Sunday dinners filled with extended family and friends.
With his passing, the grace of his long and abundant life and the courage of his last days will be forever embedded in our hearts. For all who knew him, he was the truest measure of a man.
He is survived by his devoted wife Maria; loving daughters Zeljka Alosinac (Terry McGlade)and daughter, Victoria and Charlotte McGlade), Diane Mugridge and Michele Alosinac; beloved grandchildren Sebastian Kennedy (Amanda Neves), Hilary Coles (Ian Halpern), Madeline and Charlotte Coles; Vanessa and Stephanie Mugridge; and great-grandchildren Sloane, Mila and Clay. He will be deeply missed by his sister Nada Berenkey and his brother Nick Alosinac (Linda) and nieces Andrea and Maya Berenkey, and Danielle and Nicole Alosinac.
Thanks to the dedication of his care team especially Marion, Arlene and Richelda who brought him comfort and dignity in his final years.
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