News and Events - May 2014

NEWS AND EVENTS - Friday, May 23, 2014


Paulina Mijatovich, age 90, died peacefully on Sunday, May 18, 2014 at her home. She was born on the Serbian Orthodox Christmas Day, January 7, 1924 in Monessen, PA, the fifth child of Pavle and Zora Pavlovich. The family moved to Akron, Ohio across the street from her maternal grandparents, Djuka and Persa Rackov. To alleviate the work load of the young mother, Baba Persa baby-sat Paulina and she began to spend more and more time with the grandparents until she became a permanent fixture. When the parents decided to return to Pennsylvania, they ran into difficulty with the grandparents who didn't want to part with their granddaughter. Excuses were made each time the parents came to pick Paulina up, until Deda Djuka raised his voice and said, "If you take her now, don't ever cross my threshold again!" They continued to live together even after the grandfather passed away in 1931. Paulina became the spokesperson for her grandmother who spoke very little English and she ran her errands, even delivering the nafora (puskurice) Baba made to the church on Sundays. It was in 1937 that Paulina and Persa joined the family in Ecorse, MI and she then became one of the seven Pavlovich girls.

One day in 1943, the late Bishop Firmilian came to the family home with Miodrag, his young friend, a seminarian and journalist from Belgrade, to introduce him to a family "governed" by a strict disciplinarian father, "just like in the middle of Serbia." It was there they met and a short time later, Miodrag and Paulina were married on May 16, 1943 in Ravanica. Miodrag was ordained and became the permanent priest of this parish which he served faithfully for thirty-three years until his death at the age of 60 on July 11, 1976.

Paulina worked at AAA until the birth of Kosa in 1946. Bata was born 16 months later in 1947. The demands of the growing parish made it impossible for her to work out of the home and help subsidize her husband's earnings, a situation common with all the clergy at that time. There was no office help, no cell phones, only the telephone at home. The parish home resembled a social service bureau with a revolving door. There was little time for a private life or family pleasures.

The demand of the parish increased – the building of the church hall, the new Ravanica Church, the unfortunate split in 1963 and the still ongoing settlement of over 300 Displaced Persons and even more refugees who Father Mica personally endorsed. All this strain had an impact on his health and life. He suffered his third heart attack while vacationing and passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 11, 1976. The Executive Board then voted to gift Paulina, for one dollar, the temporary parish home purchased in 1956 for the sum of $18, 000. Daughter Kosa passed away in 1984 which added to Paulina's grief and sorrow. Kosa's two young children, Michael and Paula, were her pride and joy and helped ease her pain. She offered help to her son-in-law Ron, until the children became teenagers. She never stopped being there for them.

Ravanica Church was her beloved home for her family. It was the beginning and the end of her life. She gave thanks to God for introducing her to that first generation, her parents and grandparents – the old timers, whose memories she cherished to the very end. She saw her dear friends of her own generation come and go, and their children were her "kids". She was the secretary of Serbian Sisters of Ravanica for 50 years and one of the original Mother's Club members.

Paulina is the mother of Paul (Christine) and the late Kosara Balow (Ronald). Grandmother of Michael Balow (Debbie), Paula Papke (Nate), and Lindsay and Jonathan Mijatovich. Great-grandmother of Tyler, Sophia, Elena, Maria, Blake and Benjamin. Also grandmother to Christine's children, Kelly Davis (Greg) and Wendy Parnell (Jeff) and great-grandchildren, Christian, Allyson and Bella. Sister of Sophia Pavlovich and Milan Pavlovich (Bojana) and the late Miodrag Pavlovich, Natalia Danilovich (Sam), Naida Cronovich (Charles), Kathryn Lazovic (Alexander), Alexander Pavlovich (Mary), Eli Pavlovich (Barbara), Desanka Schallhorn (Basil) and Mildred Vukovich (Pete). 17 nieces and nephews and 28 great-nieces and nephews also survive.

Protinica Paulina will lie instate at St. Lazarus Ravanica Serbian Orthodox Church, 4575 E. Outer Drive, Detroit 48234 from 2:00 to 9:00 pm Wednesday with a 7 pm Pomen service. Divine Liturgy 9:00 a.m. Thursday followed by the funeral service at 11:00 am. Rev. Zivan Urosev will officiate. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.

The family has suggested, that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to St. Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Church, 4575 E. Outer Drive, Detroit 48234, the American Cancer Society or to the Ravanica Choir in care of St. Lazarus Church.

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