Nada Lalic – 17 April 1944 to 18 October 2014
We would like to extend our sincere sympathy to the Lalic family during this time of loss of their dear one, Nada Lalic. May God comfort and strengthen you through this time of sorrow. Be encouraged as you remember the words of Jesus that she is only asleep until He calls her to awake!
Nada Lalic’s “Dash” as Dot (daughter) would call it “I prefer to call it the ‘dash’ because that’s the most important – the line between the dates of birth and death” was written by Nada’s family:
Nada was born on the 17th April, 1944 in Yugoslavia to Milivoj and Draga Jonjin. She was the fifth and youngest child of their family.
Her parents worked hard on their patch of land to scratch out a living to support themselves and their family. Times were very tough. Her brother Milan was older by four years. While she was still tiny, he would baby-sit her while her parents went out to work in order to bring food home. A good family friend who was a few years older than Milan would pop her head around to make sure that everything was okay with them and make sure they ate what was prepared for them by their mother. This meant that they grew up to be self-sufficient, to appreciate the value of hard work and also to know that they could rely on each other.
Nada absolutely adored her big brother. She looked up to him and they got into mischief together on more than one occasion. They would conspire to hide eggs the hens laid and place them in stinging nettle, knowing that their mum would never think to look there. Later, when the ice cream man came to their street, they would retrieve the eggs and barter them for some ice cream. Like all kids, they had their moments, but they were devoted to each other and wouldn’t let anyone hurt the other. There were many adventures they shared, and it would take hours to recount them all. Nada so loved her brother, that she would follow him to the other side of the world with her small family in tow. More on that later.
As with most people who grew up in post-war Europe, life was very hard. Her family were very poor financially, but rich in their love of God and their pursuit of truth. This may sound easy, but growing up and living in a communist country was not conducive to showing and sharing your faith. It could get you into trouble. Every morning at school their teacher would greet the class and say, “Good morning children; there is no God. Please sit down.”
Life and time moved on. Nada’s brother immigrated to Australia to begin a new life where he could worship in peace and freedom. Soon after, her father went there, too. So there was only Nada and her mum left in Yugoslavia.
As a young person, Nada was involved in church singing groups which used to travel around the country to various conferences. Around that time, church conferences were held primarily in Metkovic. One day she met a tall, dark, and handsome young man called Ignjo Lalic from Slavonia. It was true love; one that would span decades. Ignjo proposed to Nada in Metkovic. She said YES! He was the love of her life, a co-partner in every experience they shared, right up until the end.
They married on the 15th January, 1967 in Novi Knezevac in front of family and friends; it was a cold snowy winter’s day, but no one was concerned about the weather outside.
Later, they moved to Lipik where Ignjo built them a small home to live in.
In July 1968, their first child Dot was born. During this time, plans were underway to immigrate to Australia.
About 6 months after Dot’s birth, Nada, Ignjo and Baba Draga Jonjin all went to Calais in France by train and boarded a cargo boat which would take them to Sydney, Australia. This was not a passenger liner, so their trip took 55 days; and they travelled to South America, went through the Panama Canal, travelled through the French Polynesian islands, and finally arrived in Sydney. Nada’s big brother was there to greet them and introduced them to his new wife, Anna, who herself was ready to have a baby – David – a few weeks later. Nada was a proud aunty and loved her nephew and nieces.
The Lalic family came to Australia with a small baby, a mother-in-law and a few dollars in their pocket. In those days there was no assistance or handouts to newcomers to Australia. You were on your own and had to find work as soon as possible. After staying a short time with her brother, the young family bought a terrace house a few doors away from her brother on Young Street in Annandale where they lived for a few years. Both went to work while Baba looked after Dot and many other children in the neighbourhood whose parents immigrated to Australia from the old country.
In January, 1973 their family was complete with the birth of Steven. Sometime later, they all moved to Wentworthville, along with the grandparents, and made it their permanent home.
Many years of happiness and hard work followed – ups and downs, just as any life is lived.
Nada’s children grew up in a warm and loving environment where they were taught that there was no secret for success other than hard work. As both parents went to work, they too learnt the value of hard work. They were educated and loved. Steven graduated from university, and the family was proud of his accomplishment. It meant a lot coming from humble beginnings to be able to complete your education, as back in Yugoslavia that was not the case, due to prejudice shown to those who couldn’t attend school on Saturdays.
In 1987, Dorothy married Branko, at whose home her parents first met. In 1990 the first grandchild–Jesse–was born, followed in 1993 by Bianca, their granddaughter. Both grandchildren were greatly loved from the moment they drew their first breath and were their grandparent’s pride and joy.
Nada was always a positive person who would lift the mood of a whole room just by walking into it. She had many friends from all over the world who stayed in touch. She was strong and sympathetic and had a ready ear and heart to listen to anyone. Her storytelling was legendary. She could laugh with you, cry with you, pray with you, and be a great friend.
From early 1992 until recently, Nada fought with the beast called cancer four times. It was a hard battle, not just on her, but on those who were closest to her.
In 2013 she was given the news that she had angiosarcoma and that the prognosis was not good. That news didn’t stop her living life to the fullest and being thankful for the life she had lived and for her family and friends.
On the 3rd of October, she went into hospital for the last time. Her health deteriorated quickly, and the doctors told her there was nothing more they could do to help her.
Courageously she decided to let the disease take its natural course. Goodbyes, hugs and kisses followed, and our hearts broke, a small part never to be mended again.
On the day she passed away she was surrounded by those she loved the most; she heard their voices and their expressions of love and support. She was not alone, but was surrounded by love. Blessed and happy is the person who is so loved.
On the 18th October around 8.30pm, Nada drew her last breath, hearing that she was loved.
But this is not the end. Her love of life and love of her family and friends lives on in each of you here today.
Rest in peace, Nada, until the resurrection, when you hear Jesus calling your name to wake up, no more in pain, but with a body that will never fail you. “…Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20.