VUKOBRATIC, Vjekoslav “Veko” – Veko died peacefully at home on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at the age of 81. Beloved husband of Barbara (Bandula). Dear father of Daniela “Elly” Vukobratic (Andrew Slosser), Burgessville and the late Michael Vukobratic. Proud grandfather of Emily Slosser. Brother-in-law of Joe Bandula (Kathy), B.C. and Zora Matuzic (late Tone), Croatia. Also surviving are many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by parents Ivan and Katarina Vukobratic, brothers John (Yvonne) and Branko (Mary), sisters Ankica Osmak (Franje), Barkica Spancic (Slavko) and Mary Frankovic (Joe) and brother-in-law Janko Bandula (Mary). Just as Veko’s family was spread between Canada and Croatia, so was his love of country. He always said, “You never stop loving the place where you are born, where your belly button is buried,” but he loved Canada in equal measure for the life it gave him and his family. Veko spent his entire working life in construction and became a well-known finish carpenter in Sarnia. His work stands as a testament to his craftsmanship in countless homes and businesses. At one time, he was the only local person building circular stairs. For a long time, he toyed with the idea of a personalized licence plate for his work van that read “Dr. Plywood” but he didn’t want to take any letters out to make it fit. Veko loved telling stories of the construction days, with all the trades buzzing around a work site. He used to say that lunchtime was like a meeting of a mini-United Nations - Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch, Croatian, Canadian and other delegates - all building together, agreeing and disagreeing with one another and free to do so. Although the years of breathing in dust and resins caught up to him and his lungs, he was still designing and redesigning projects until the final hours. As his health deteriorated dramatically over the past few months, Veko was very aware of all the people praying for him and said he could feel the love and care being sent his way. Thank you for every thought and prayer during his difficult illness. Special thanks to Jeff and Lenny Edmunds, friends who went above and beyond the call of duty in our family’s time of need and built a ramp for Veko so he would be safe, could get to appointments and to his workshop one more time. Thanks to Dr. Greensmith for his compassionate care and support at the most critical time. Thanks to every person who answered our families questions and attended to our needs with kindness - in the end, only kindness matters.
As per Veko’s request, there will be no funeral home visitation. Cremation has taken place. Due to the restrictions of Covid 19, a private family Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Benedict’s Church with interment at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery. Please note that masks/face coverings are mandatory for all in attendance. Arrangements entrusted to the McKenzie & Blundy Funeral Home & Cremation Centre 519-344-3131. Messages of condolence and memories may be left at www.mckenzieblundy.com. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may send memorial donations to Bluewater Health Foundation or the Canadian Lung Association.