with Baba Mim....
Check out my other websites too:
Not Retired From Learning! http://www.notretiredfromlearning.com
Bizic Education Enterprises.
"The Power of Three"--> www.mimbizic.com
And the Moon Township Historical Society website:
Andja Mamula with her grandchildren at the St. Sava Cemetery in Castle Shannon, PA (Pittsburgh suburb), including Jules Bobik, 3rd from left, standing
L-R (Back) Marty An, Rose, Jules, Ronny, Joe, Peter, Mim
Sitting: Nick, Lorraine, grandmother Baba Andja Mamula, Paul, George. Missing: Sandy
Jules always helped clean and decorate the graves at the Cemetery. A hard worker until the end, he's earned his rest. "Vjecnaja Pamjat" to a great guy! This crew realizes that the ones who came before us taught us well. Honor and love your family.
L-R: Mim, Rose, Cheri, Jules, Carli, Matt, Halle, Joe, Jordan, Darlene, Kathy, Paul, Blaise
Kneeling, Michelle with Alayna and Alyssa.
JULIUS "JULES" BOBIK Jr. Of West Mifflin, passed away on January 5, 2011, at the age of 65. Husband of Cheryl Bobik; father of Jennifer (Sasa) Trklja and Michelle (Blaise) Grese; grandfather of Michael, Nicholas, and Marissa Trklja and Alayna and Alexis Grese; brother of Joseph (Darlene) Bobik, and Lorraine (Jerry) Moon; brother-in-law of Joanne (John) Wuchenich; son of the late Julius and Millicent Bobik, Sr.; also survived by friends, family, and kumovi. Jules was a Vietnam veteran with the U.S. Army and a retired supervisor at U.S. Steel. He belonged to the Holy Trinity Choir and Men's Club and the American Serbian Club. He was a member of the T.R.A.A., East McKeesport Masonic Lodge # 765, and the ASerbs. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, 450 Maxwell Rd., Pittsburgh PA 15236.
Jules, God Knows Your Name, by Cousin Mim Bizic
Only three days before his passing, it was Serbian Father’s Day, the one where we hear the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, where Abraham begot Isaac, and so on for 14 +14 or 28 generations. It’s the Sunday we hear many names, but all leading to one, JESUS. It’s the Sunday when we are reminded, “Just as the Bible records these names, so, too, is YOUR name important to God.”
We are also asked to think carefully about the names mentioned and the actions of God in our individual and collective lives. The hundreds of people who turned out yesterday for the viewing and today to pay their last respects to Jules tell volumes about the flower Jules was in God’s garden and all the joy he brought to all he came in contact with.
Jules was a devout Christian from the time of his birth until he closed his eyes for the final time on earth, lovingly embraced by his devoted family. Concurrently, Jules, together with his beloved Cheri, made sure his Jennifer and Michelle and his grandchildren also knew Jesus. Who can ever forget the immortal picture of three generations of Jules, Sasha, Blaise, and grandson Michael guarding Jesus’ tomb at Easter? Or the whole family gathered in the nave of the church for those wonderful five grandchildren’s (Michael, Alayna, Nicholas, Alexis Jo and Marissa’s) Baptisms into Christ? Or making sure they were all enrolled in the Serb National Federation almost as soon as they were born?
Now something I found extremely interesting and I think our young kids will relate to, is how Jules had a connection to St. Paul the Apostle! When we hear the epistle being read, many times we hear of St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, or Romans or, in fact, during the funeral service, of St. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. The next time you hear about St. Paul, you might want to remember this:
“Jules” or more formally “Julius” is a Biblical name, and research has shown that it was a centurion named Julius who saved the great St. Paul during a hazardous journey. We wouldn’t be hearing of St. Paul so much if it weren’t for a man named Julius. Still, it is not a name one would readily find in ancient Serbian history. But in modern-day American-Serb history, it’s a name destined to live on for a long time. Like I heard so many times yesterday, “Jules was the BEST of the BEST!”
First Names-Last Names
“Bobik! Front and center. Report to the top deck.”
“What? I didn’t volunteer for anything.”
“Just get up there, NOW!”
“I didn’t volunteer!” Jules proceeded to protest, but all to no avail. The young Army recruit suddenly found himself no longer in the bowels of a ship patrolling the Mekong Delta, but suddenly thrust up into a waiting helicopter, its blades bellicose in preparations for take-off.
Sweating nervously in the humidity of Viet Nam, and in the all-too real danger of the war area, Jules was suddenly thrust into a whirlwind of unknown destination, and told to exit the helicopter as it set down in a very small clearing located in the heart of a very dense jungle. Fearing the worst, “I didn’t volunteer!” were Jules’ last words to the pilot as he was told to “Get out.”
Just imagine the emotions of fear of the unknown and then feelings of genuine relief and joy emitted when suddenly from out of the dense, lush green foliage stepped my sister Rose, now Dr. Rose Gantner. “Jules!” the 25-year-old American Red Cross Director of Operations in Viet Nam exclaimed so excitedly with wide-opened arms to her first cousin, who was raised more like a brother, “I just wanted to see you!”
Was it only the Army that made that reunion possible, or was a larger Hand guiding this all? Someone with loving hands who knows all of our names?
I think so. Take for instance the summer of 2006, when I was on a trip visiting various Monasteries found throughout Serbia. Very few of us knew each other before the journey, but soon learned names, personalities as the days passed. One day, while literally bouncing out of our seats as we traversed rough roads in the mountains of Serbia, a lovely lady named Kathy hung onto the metal bars of the seats as she made her way to come talk to me in the back seat, where I had my legs elevated trying to alleviate the swelling.
“Mim,” she began in earnest. “I think I know you from somewhere. Did you ever go to Shadeland?”
“Shadeland! Yes, yes!” I said with all the magic the word conveys. And immediately we began to sing, “We are the Shadeland girls, we wear our hair in curls…”
“And I remember you had a brother or a cousin with an unusual name. He was so much fun, always made us laugh.”
Immediately I knew of whom she was speaking, but I played. Smiling like the troll in Rumpelstiltskin, I asked, “Was it my cousin Joe?”
“No,” she replied a little disappointed. “I remember he had wavy-hair and a always smiling face, but his uncommon name just escapes me right now.”
“Was it my cousin Paul?” My eyebrows and lips both seemingly were practicing for an Academy Award performance.
“No,” she again said. And I could see her mind working full-time to lift the veil behind the mystery name.
“Well,” and after a long, thoughtful fake pause….”was it my Cousin JULES?”
“Oh, yes, yes!” and we hugged and hugged. And for the next few hours in the most remote mountainous areas of Sumadija (SERBIA!), we shared the good times of Shadeland and Cousin Jules. Jules loved Shadeland, and how proud we all were seeing him and Joe serve as altar boys from the earliest days there with our priest, Fr. Velimir Kovachevich, Bishop Dionisije, and many other priests from all over.
Throughout our lives, we heard Jules’ name in several wonderful ways:
“This is for Jules and Cheri on their wedding day,” and cousin Barb Topich’s melodious voice sang “Hajde Slusaj” or “This is for Jules and Cheri,” SERBEZ orchestra announced as they played at the wedding, “Kazi Leno, Koga Volis?” Or…
“Jules! They’re here!” said Cheri. “Djedi, they’re here….” All of us would run out to greet the Christmas orchestra and their entourage alighting from Molly’s Trolley. We all have great memories of celebrating with generous Jules, Cheri and the whole gang who always filled their house. But we can go back even further in our Christmas memories.
How grateful we always were to have Jules, or his brother Joe alternate year after year as our Karlo Polozniks on their way to our St. Sava Church on 21st and Sidney Street. Not a Sunday passed without their attending church with their Mom and Dad.
Serbs are special in many ways, but one of them is that in the Serbian language, there is no word for “cousin.” Cousins are raised to love each other as if they are brothers or sisters. Jules was a much beloved “Brother” who loved his family and friends dearly. He lived a most blessed, happy life because he loved the Lord his God. He was given great gifts including these two: (1) the capacity to welcome and love everyone he came in contact with, and (2) the wondrous gift of song that in turn made everyone around him happy too.
As a proud cousin, I will never forget the Bobik basses (Jules and brother Joe) singing the ending refrain the St. Sava hymn of "Uskliknimo" with all the passion of soldiers in battle. While we sang, “Po-o-j-“ they came in with their proud, deep bass voices Pojte mu, Sr-bi!” Or at our Mamula reunions when we all lined up in a row prouder than any Rockettes on Broadway to sing “Marsilala” with even the youngest of babes joining the older generations. It is now a great Mamula tradition.
Jules will surely be missed in Holy Trinity Cathedral’s Choir in Pittsburgh. But here’s what I “saw” when I heard Jules had passed on….
A fine Heavenly Host of angels was singing, "Svjati Boze” – “Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal have mercy on us.” Surrounding the angels were all of his loving parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and many good friends who have all gone on before including Rade and Reagan. And there, amidst them, is our Lord, welcoming and extending His outstretched arm to this latest jewel in His Heavenly garden. ”Welcome HOME, Jules Bobik!”
Already, however, I see Jules as a proud member of that BASS section of Angels, taking up a new position between Tosho Erdel and Nicky & Bobby Stone. You see, God not only knew Jules’ NAME, but also his new MISSION!
Joey, Lorraine and Jules....
The "Cellar" Wall.....
How many of you remember the little Autograph books that were so popular during the 1950’s-‘60’s? Probably one of the most used verses was the one that went like this:
“When your life on Earth is ended, And its paths you no longer trod, May your name in Gold be written, in the Autograph of God.”
EVERYBODY, EVERYBODY loved Jules Bobik, Jr.!
Eulogies were given by his priest, Fr. Rajko Kosic, his Cousin George Topich, Mayor Kelly (his next door neighbor and friend who together with his wife accompanied Jules & Cheri to Harvard Medical School in Boston at their own expense, to help seek alternative cures for Jules' unusual cancer); his lifelong friend, Tommy Barrett, from Florida who mentioned how Jules would wear his Uncle Chappy (George) Mamula’s Master/ Sergeant jacket from his days at being stationed in Alaska in the ‘50’s and Jules would drill the neighborhood kids in marching all over Homestead; his tearful, loyal Kum, Chad Wuchenich, and his grateful Sister-in-law Joanne Wuchenich. It was a beautiful tribute to a fine man. You can read my tribute here on this website.
Click lower right hand corner of photo to enlarge.
He loved taking care of his FIVE grandchildren!
Doreen Leech, Editor of THE TRINITARIAN for Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Pittsburgh, PA wrote:
"A Tribute to a Very Special Man"
There aren't many people that can be recognized by just one name.... like Cher, Madonna.... but then there was JULES.
Most people who met him, whether he was bartending at the Club or helping out at the picnics of selling 50/50s at the Carnival, probably didn't even know his last name. But they didn't need to--- he was always just Jules, our main man, our clown prince, our mayor of all things Serbian. I defy anyone to name another person who so loved life, loved laughter, loved his church, loved his friends and adored his family.
Actually anyone who ever met Jules felt like family. He had such an amazing gusto for life, a true "joie de vivre," and although we knew he was very ill, we just truly believed that he would be here forever. Unfortunately for us, that wasn't the case. He was called to the Lord on January 5th, leaving behind a darker, sadder world. It's hard to believe that we will never see him again, at least in this life.
To know Jules was to love him---he definitely made all of our lives richer and happier. Who can think of him without a smile on their face, waiting for him to come in for the big smooch! And how may of us can acknowledge that we have lived our lives as fully as Jules did.
Thanks, Cherry, Michelle, and Jennifer, and families, for sharing him so lovingly with all of us. There will NEVER be another like our Jules---no one could come close. May his beautiful memory be eternal and after time, may we all find solace in the memories we have of being with Jules. What a guy, what a life, what a legacy!
Thank you, Doreen, for such a beautiful tribute!
Thanks to Paul, Kathy, Halle, Matt, Jordan, Carli, Rose, Sandy (Alex), Marti G., Nick and Mim for the bench memorial.