Obituary of V. Rev. Fr. Slobodan Jovic
Very Rev. Stavrophor +Slobodan Jovic
October 02, 1954 – February 17, 2023
Priest +Slobodan Jovic, 68, of Fishers, Indiana, passed away February 17, 2023 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Lopare Yugoslavia (now Republika Srpska) to his father Boro and mother Smilja Jovic on October 2nd, 1954. +Slobodan was the youngest of 4 brothers, and grew up on the family farm with a traditional upbringing where the main export, to this day, is delicious plums.
When he had finished his primary schooling, +Slobodan decided that he wanted to serve our Lord, and packed his bags and went to a high school seminary in Sremski Karlovci where he met many of his beloved lifelong friends. In 1973 he met a lovely young lady, Djuka Lukic, who he would wed in October of 1975. When he finished seminary, Slobodan became a deacon for a single day before becoming a priest, with his first parish being in Slavonski Kobash.
He and his Popadija spent 7 years in Slavonia, before being assigned a new parish in Koper Slovenija. It was in Koper where his first and only child, his son (and future Alter-boy) Predrag was born. It was 1988 when Fr. Slobodan and family traded in the sunny shore of Koper for another shore, this time that of Lake Superior, when the family moved and were warmly welcomed to their third parish; this time in Duluth Minnesota. Being new to the country, and with very minimal knowledge of the English language, many of the parishioners were pleasantly surprised to hear Fr. Slobodan start his first Liturgy in Duluth with a bit of English.
He was always willing to learn. While in Minnesota he would both teach himself and take lessons in the English language, and he was a lifelong reader; always interested in technology, history, geography and world events, and enjoyed watching sports, primarily tennis. After a few bitterly cold Minnesota winters Fr. Slobodan and the family moved to Hermitage Pennsylvania in 1991. While in Pennsylvania, ever the student, Fr. Slobodan enrolled in Slippery Rock University where he attained both his undergrad college degree, as well as a masters in History and Education. His final masters paper focused on the life of Saint Sava.
In the summer of 2000, Fr. Slobodan and the family moved to Saratoga California, where he would spend the next 21 years. During his time in California, Father, with the help from parishioners, worked to attain the architectural design, permitting, fundraising and building of a beautiful new church. He also served as a dean in the diocese.
While the family attained many close friends in each of the parishes, given the many years spent in California, many friends were found there. In May of 2021, after serving for 45 years as priest, he retired. The parish in Saratoga threw him a lovely retirement ceremony. A few days later, with help from Ted Miljevic, the family packed their belongings, drove cross country, and moved to Fishers Indiana, to be close to their son Predrag, who had moved to Indiana two years prior. In Indianapolis Fr. Slobodan and family went to the church where they always warmly welcome by Fr. Dragan, other priests and wonderful parishioners.
In Spring 2022, Father and Popadija (now Proto and Protinica for quite a few years already) took a six-month trip back to their ancestral Serbian lands to visit family. While they took many short vacations there during his career, they were finally able to enjoy a longer time there, now that they were retired. In September of 2022, Father began feeling a pain in his abdomen and after a hospital trip in Bijeljina, was on an emergency plane 24 hours later back to the US where he was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. Over the following 6 months, despite chemotherapy treatments, visits to specialists and round-the-clock support from family, his disease progressed, and his symptoms and complications became more numerous.
Fr. Slobodan is survived by his Protinica Djuka, his son Predrag, his brother Very Revered Jovan and his wife Radinka, their kids: Aleksandar, Milicia and Dusica, numerous other nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, as well as a plethora of friends, some as close as family, from around the world.
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