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STJEPAN (STEVE) ZADRAVEC
December 24, 1934 – April 24, 2023
The Zadravec Family are saddened to announce the passing of beloved Patriarch, Stjepan Zadravec, on April 24th, 2023 surrounded by family and friends at Holy Family Home.
In Croatia, he was predeceased by elder sister Cathy and brother Frank; survived by younger sisters Maria and Elizabeth, brothers Ivan and Djuro, as well as many beautiful nieces and nephews. A family reunion in Croatia in 1994 and a visit in 1996 are cherished memories for everyone.
In Canada, Steve was predeceased by deeply beloved daughter, Teresa Nancy; survived by son Steve, daughter-in-law Kathy Guimond, grandchildren Allison Guimond and Matthew Guimond, as well as daughter Tina and grandson Levon Zadravec-Powell. Uncle to many nieces and nephews in Winnipeg, his home was always open and welcoming to family and friends.
Born in 1934 in Medjimurje County, Croatia to Baltasar and Dorothea (nee Bestianic), Steve’s early life saw occupation by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, German, and Soviet Armies. Conscripted into the Yugoslav People’s Army, he had very fond memories of Montenegro during his time as a border guard.
Leading a daring escape from the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia involving jumping from a fast-moving train in the dark near a trestle bridge and timing the movement of border guards to make a break, Steve walked over the mountains into Austria. Accepting an offer of refuge from Canada, he arrived at Quebec City on the m/v Arosa Star in June 1958.
Initially working on Southern Ontario tobacco farms, he made his way to Winnipeg by the fall of 1958. He said he liked the wooden sidewalks and he felt it was his home.
Steve and Marie (nee Halpin) loved taking their family to Winnipeg parks, Manitoba’s beaches, and Ontario lakes. A 1974 road trip to Vancouver, BC was filled with amazing memories.
A Winnipegger through and through, Steve didn’t miss a Jets or Bombers game even back in day when that meant listening to commentary on the radio for blacked-out home games. A lover of driving too fast, making bets on the ponies at the Assiniboine Downs, and opening his door to family and friends, Steve loved nothing better than watering his garden in the dusk of a prairie summer evening.
Employed by Kraft Construction for 30 years, Steve was proud of his contribution to many Winnipeg schools and public buildings.
After retirement in 1994, Steve focused on his enjoyment of family, friends, cats, sports, gambling, and gardening. Aided by his loving daughter Teresa, Steve remained at his Northend home of more than 50 years, until he was 86 years old. He loved his life in Winnipeg and he will be missed by many.
Cremation has taken place with internment in Brookside Cemetery planned for Spring 2024. A private service has been held. Donations in his memory would be kindly appreciated at Official Government of Ukraine websites u24.gov.ua or war.ukraine.ua.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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