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Obituary

MATO (MIKE) ANDJELIC (published on April 01, 2009)



MATO (MIKE) ANDJELIC 1924 - 2009 Mato passed away peacefully at his home in Winnipeg with his family by his side at the age of 85 on March 29, 2009. He will be deeply missed by his wife, Manda, children; Robert (Emily) Andjelic, of Winnipeg, Lee Andjelic, of Winnipeg, Jon Andjelic of Port Moody, BC, adopted daughter/granddaughter, Gabriella Andjelic (Scott Simpson) of Winnipeg, grandchildren; Shane Bordas of London, England, Steven Andjelic (Karen) of Hammonds Plains, NS, Naomi Bartlett (Patrick) of Oakville, ON, Robert Andjelic (Jennifer) of Winnipeg, Sherri Andjelic of Toronto, ON, Cullen Andjelic of Kelowna, BC, Evan Andjelic of Port Coquitlam, BC, and Grayson Andjelic of Port Moody, BC. He also leaves behind 11 great-grandchildren, as well as nieces, nephews and cousins in Canada and Croatia. Mato was born in Vukojevci, Croatia to Marija Andjelic and Stevo Ivanovic and had one sister, Jelka. It was in Vukojevci where he met his wife and lifelong partner, Manda in grade school; they married in 1943. Even as a young man Mato was determined, ambitious and hard working learning many different skills and trades enabling him to adapt to many situations. He was a qualified electrician, brick maker, carpenter, mill worker, butcher, talented musician, heavy equipment operator, mechanic and skilled entrepreneur. Mato was never afraid of taking risks to try to attain a better quality of life for his family. The political and social climate in Croatia at the time led Mato to make a monumental decision; he escaped the country of his birth, risking imprisonment, to pursue a better life for his family. He and his family immigrated to Canada in January 1958. Within 1 year of their arrival in Winnipeg, Mato purchased a tandem truck and started his own business hauling gravel and loads. It was also the time Mato and Manda began buying and tirelessly renovating homes themselves - together, they renovated and sold 35 homes in 8 years, working 16-hour days. With a desire to start a masonry business, Mato took a brick-laying course at Red River College. This led to the creation of Andjelic Masonry in 1963, where he worked as an independent contractor primarily on house fronts. In 1966, with his son, Bob, ARM Masonry was created. Two years later the business expanded and began specializing in out of town work, specifically in the Northern communities, where they built warehouses, schools, swimming pools and worked on hydro projects. Sensing a demand in the market for these services, Mato also began MRK Sewer and Water in 1971 and Arctic Millwork in 1974. ARM Masonry eventually became ARM Properties Ltd. and focused on the design, building and leasing of industrial warehouse and office space in Winnipeg until 1991. Even in his retirement years, his entrepreneurial spirit never rested. Mato continued working and began Mike's Construction, building cottages and homes for several years. In his later years, Mato enjoyed spending winters in Hawaii with Manda, where he met many friends from all over Canada and the US. In his spare time, he was an expert chess player and enjoyed weekly card games with his good friends. Mato also enjoyed playing bocce ball at the Croatian picnic grounds in Lockport. His summers were spent at his beloved cottage that he built along the Winnipeg River. He was an avid and skilled fisherman who often enjoyed quiet mornings in his boat alone while everyone else was still sleeping. Another favorite pastime of Mato's was making delicious sausages, salami, and smoked fish that he loved sharing with friends and family. Always an active member in the Croatian community, Mato was a driving force behind the building of the Croatian Catholic Church at Winnipeg in 1974. He, and a few other members first initiated the idea. Mato was then pivotal in the design and construction of the church, for which he received several accolades. Upon his cancer diagnosis last summer, Mato still wouldn't resign himself and resolved to build a new, wheelchair accessible home for a Croatian family in need. With the help and volunteer work of other members in the Croatian community, and several Winnipeg businesses donating material, this goal was fulfilled. Mato was a well-respected business and family man with boundless energy, a zest for life, and a passion for knowledge and new challenges. He died the way he lived; fighting to the end to try to turn the odds in his favour, regardless of the hand he was dealt. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace and God's love dear husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend. Ostajete unasim srcima i molitvama. Pocivaj u miru Bozjem. The family would like to thank the WRHA Palliative Program, especially Tracy, Tammie-Lee and the home care workers. Thank you for all the prayers, calls and visits from friends, and to niece, Maria (Ante) Jokic for all her help and support. Rosary will be said on Friday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m. followed by prayers at 7:30 p.m. at Croatian Catholic Church, St. Nicholas Tavelich, 2688 Main St. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, April 4 at 11:00 a.m. also at the church with Rev. Fr. Robert Polz officiating. Homilist will be Rev. Msgr. Norman J. Chartrand. Interment will follow at Glen Eden Memorial Gardens. A gathering will follow at church. Pallbearers will be Antun Radacic, Andy Kraljevic, Ivica Piskar, Branko Gospic, Tihomir Bebek and Peter Milinkovic. Memorial donations may be made in Mato's memory to CancerCare Manitoba. CROPO FUNERAL CHAPEL 586-8044


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