Date of Birth
Date of Death
Ivan "John" Cikvari, age 91, of Elburn, passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday, August 31, 2004 at Rosewood Care Center in St. Charles, IL. With courage and strength few possess, John battled severe ailments and defied his doctors, never conceding defeat until the last days. BORN He was born August 30, 1913, the son of Jopfip and Katica (Volarevic) Cikvari in Majar, Croatia. CHILDHOOD Ivan grew up in Majar and attended local schools. When he was thirteen he studied to be a tailor for time before changing vocations two years later to become a butcher. Ivan was one of the first to offer the husbands homade wine and beer while their wives did the shopping. He took it one step further by opening a dance floor for patrons to stay afterhours and enjoy dancing until the moon was full. Following the passing Ivan’s first wife Anna, the war came to his doorstep and was forced to find work anywhere he could find leaving his son in the care of his mother. Eventually he found a butcher shop owned by Terezija Miklos in what is now known as Slovakia. MARRIED It was because of his helping hands that Terezija’s business prospered and it wasn’t long until he found that into her hands he had given his heart. They were united in marriage in the Spring of 1944. They continued to live and work together until they were once again forced to outrun the war, making a new home in Yugoslavia. It was here that they their family grew until they all immigrated to the United States in 1960 after being sponsored by Ivan’s brother in Chicago. Ivan used his knowledge and intuitioin as a successful butcher to work at Geo Ash Packing Company for a short time before the union moved to E. W. Kneip which was also located in Chicago in 1961. Fourteen years later in 1975, Ivan retired and concentrated on remodeling his home, tending to his garden and generally enjoying his life. In 1987, they left the city and settled in Elburn to be closer to their daughter Terry. It was only two years later on June 28, 1989, that Terezija passed away leaving Ivan as the last link to the incredible journey they had taken together. Ivan continued to live with his daughter for the next fourteen years until he began his battle with congestive heart failure and prostate surgery in November of 2003. Battling back with the help of intense rehabilitation, Ivan was able to return home for Christmas and work in his garden by spring. It was the debilitating stroke in June of 2004 that was to be his final test. His spirit never faltering, he set to task another round of rehabilitation and regained use of his left side when many said it couldn’t be done. After proving them wrong, Ivan said his final goodbyes and laid to rest the life he once knew for a life everlasting in the arms of his Savior. LIFE NOTES From remodeling his home, to the intricate garden and homemade compost he oversaw daily, Ivan never stopped moving. At picnics he was the first to run out to play softball or to kick a soccer ball around and was the last to quit playing when the day was done. Ivan walked his dog Blackie three times a day through his 90th birthday. He was known by the neighborhood as the "gentleman’s gentleman" for always doffing his cap when anyone would walk by as he and Blackie made the "rounds". Just as he learned his trade, Ivan also picked up languages fairly easily, learning as a child four languages: Croatian, Hungarian, German and English. His spirit will live on in the hearts of all who knew him from his homeland of Croatia to the U.S. and abroad. SURVIVORS He now leaves his daughter Terry (Walter) Grumeretz of Elburn; Six grandchildren: Stephanie (Bob) Kruger of Sleepy Hollow, ILKris Eckhardt of Elburn, ILDan (Chris) Grumeretz of Phoenix, AZAnna (Walter) Slezek, Herbert Cikvari, and Marita Cikvari all of Germany;Two step-grandchildren:John and Ann Hamersky both of Slovaki;12 great-grandchildren and 4 step-great-grandchildrenMany nieces and nephews including Karlo (Rose) Cikvari and their children Natalie and Boris all of Chicago, with a family of friends the world round. PRECEDED He now joins his wife Terezija;One grandson, John Grumeretz who passed away on January 14, 1989;Two brothers: Joseph Cikvari in 1988 and Pista Cikvari in 1944;And one sister, Panica Cikvari in 1930 who preceded him in death. And one nephew, Ivo Cikvari, 2001 in Vinkovci, Croatia.MEMORIALS A memorial to benefit cardiac research has been established in Ivan’s name. Gifts may be made to the Ivan Cikvari Memorial and mailed in care of P.O.Box 66 Elburn, IL 60119 or you may donate in his name to the charity of your choice. All gifts to benefit others will be sincerely appreciated by the family.
Friends may call at the Church of St. Gall from 10-11a.m., Friday, September 3, 2004 with a mass to follow at 11a.m. Fr. Karl Ganss will officiate.
Interment will follow at St. Gall Cemetery