We Remember

HRŽIĆ, Slavko

March 29, 1938 — April 2, 2023

On April 2nd, 2023, Slavko died in his sleep after suffering a heart attack at the age of 85. He is no longer in pain, and he is with our Lord. Slavko leaves behind his two sons, Michael and Dominic, and his 2 nieces, Leila and Djordja, in Zagreb, Croatia. He was predeceased by his wife Margret, his 4 brothers, Mijo, Marko, Stefan, and Drago, his sister, Ivica, and his nephew, Drago.

Slavko was born in the rural town of Krašić, Yugoslavia, now Croatia. He was born just before World War II and the civil war in Yugoslavia. His father and younger brother were killed when he was 8 years old from an airplane bomb. His family owned a farm and a vineyard, which he worked growing up. Slavko was trained later as a butcher in the city of Karlovac. He was required to go into the Yugoslav Communist army for training, which he was very much against. He tried to defect twice, and he was caught and imprisoned. On his third attempt, he defected through Austria to Germany, never to see his homeland and family again.

In Germany, he was granted the status of a political refugee in 1961. He first found work in the Black Forest town of Freudenstadt doing road construction, and soon afterwards in his trade as a butcher. In 1963, he moved to Frankfurt to continue his career as a butcher and met his wife, Margret, who worked in the same meat factory as a meat sales clerk in 1964. They were married on April 1,1965, and then decided to move to Vancouver, BC in October 1965. In Vancouver, Slavko worked for a few smaller butcher shops before working at Freybe Gourmet Foods and Fletcher’s Fine Foods Ltd.

In 1976, the family moved to Kelowna, BC as he followed some family friends. He did not find work as a butcher, so his first job in Kelowna was working as a house painter for Rudy’s Painting, owned by Rudy Klammer. Afterwards, he worked at the Fitzgerald Packing House in Rutland and BC Tree Fruits Packing House. He later worked at Guy’s Paving Co for about 10 years before suffering two fractured vertebrae. He was forced to retire at the age of 57 due to severe back and nerve pain.

Slavko loved to fish in his rowboat and ice fish on the lakes around Kelowna and throughout the Okanagan. He loved to watch sports, but especially soccer and ice hockey. His favourite teams were Dinamo Zagreb, the Vancouver Canucks, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the BC Lions, which he followed almost religiously. He was particularly proud of the Croatian National Soccer Team as they finished in second place at the 2018 World Cup and in third place at the 2022 World Cup. Slavko enjoyed making his own sausage and his own wine using the skills that he learned throughout his life. Slavko attended the Croatian Catholic Church on East 1st Avenue in Vancouver and, later, Corpus Christi Catholic Church and St. Pius X Catholic Church in Kelowna. He kept his faith in God even into his final days.

Slavko’s friends and family will miss his kind and caring personality. He was to known to be a very hard worker throughout his life. He was always willing to help his friends and neighbours if he could. Slavko was a quiet, reserved person, who had a good sense of humour, and he was very proud to be a Croatian. Later in his life, he received his Canadian citizenship. He did not have a lot of close friends, but he was well liked by others.

A Catholic service will be held to honour Slavko on Friday, April 21, 2023, at 2:00PM, at St. Charles Garnier Catholic Church, 3645 Benvoulin Rd, Kelowna, BC, with Father Gabriel presiding. Those unable to attend will be able to watch a live stream of the service on the Springfield Funeral Home website. The Livestream link, provided by the Church, will be posted here closer to the time of the service.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

LIVESTREAM LINK: Click here for Livestream

FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2023 at 2:00 PM

St. Charles Garnier Parish

Share with Others:

Share on Facebook
Share Via Email