8th March, 1938 to 25th January, 2022
Mira (Jugović) Ilić, known to most as Mima, was born in the town of Jazavica, near Novska, the youngest daughter of Ivan and Reza Jugović.
She had two sisters and two brothers: Marija (Seka), born 1927; Mijo, born 1929; Zora, born 1933; and Zdravko, born 1935.
Mima lost her mother at an early age – she was only 4 years old when her mother passed away in 1942. Her father remarried in 1949 to Manda, who was a widow herself and had a son, Milan.
In 1952, the whole family moved to Borovo for better work opportunities. Here, Mima met her husband, Aca (Vladimir) Ilic and they married on the 13th April, 1956, after which she moved to Metkovic.
Her journey to her new home wasn’t very long (a little more than 100km). She arrived as a young bride of 18 years old and had to quickly adapt to living in a home with 3 grown men; her husband, her father-in-law, Ceda, and her brother-in-law, Rada. At the same time, she had to familiarise herself with new surroundings, new neighbours, along with slightly different traditions and lifestyles.
The challenges she faced during her early years in Metkovic prepared Mima for a life of helping others, and she developed a real talent for knowing exactly what to say, at the right time, to encourage and console those who needed it. Being the cheerful and friendly person that she was, Mima was quickly accepted in her new surroundings.
If Mima felt outnumbered living with 3 grown men, the scales were really tipped when she had 3 sons of her own. Danko was born in 1958, Ivan in 1961, and Branko in 1964. A little known fact is that Mima actually gave birth to 4 sons; Ivan is a twin, but his sibling was still-born.
Danko married Rosetta in 1980, and had 2 daughters; Vivian and Lana. Ivan married Anne in 1990 and they had 2 children, Lusinda and Luis. Branko married Dot in 1987, and they had 2 children, Jesse and Bianca.
Vivian and Chris were married in 2012, and 6 weeks later, Lana and Jeremy were married. Jesse and Maria married in 2020.
Mima loved to extend her hospitality to others, and her cooking and cakes were products of her hospitality that were enjoyed by many visitors. She was a talented organiser which was demonstrated during the 7 conferences, across 14 years, held in our backyard, where between 500 – 700 people attended. During this time, Mima developed a deep love for Metkovic and its community, which welcomed our visitors with open arms. She often said, “God is good and directs everything – I thank Him for our wonderful neighbours and their warm hospitality in receiving 100’s of guests. Without them it would have been impossible to accommodate this many people.”
And because of her eagerness to always help those around her, she made many friends not only in Metkovic, but also in far away places, on different continents. She untiringly maintained these deep friendships, regardless of where she was. Many of you were recipients of her phone calls “just to say a few words”—but our dad, Aca, described these calls as “there goes my Mira, straining the telephone cables”.
In keeping with her positive spirit, Mima was always happy and knew how to brighten any gloomy situation with her quick wit and smile.
Mima loved to travel, or as some have said “she wasn’t afraid to travel.” They would say “it’s easy for her to travel since she came from so far away.” Imagine, 105km was considered “so far away.” As we, one by one, moved away to Australia and Canada, her friends would ask why she didn’t seem sad (but we knew she was just good at acting). Her answer was “Let them go; it gives me the opportunity to see the world.” In any case, Mima was the first of us to travel to America, to visit her father and brothers.
In August 1992, Mima and her husband moved to Australia to be closer to their children. This is where her grandchildren christened her “Mima”, which is how many of you know her. As earlier in her life, she quickly adapted in Australia, expanding her circle of friends who also enjoyed her company and culinary skills (kolaci).
Though heartbroken at her passing, we have faith in the hope of Christ and the resurrection. She is survived by her husband, Aca; their sons, Danko, Ivan and Branko, with their wives, Rosetta, Anne, and Dot; her grandchildren, Jesse, Vivian, Lana, Bianca, Lusinda, and Luis, and their spouses, Chris, Jeremy, and Maria; her brother-in-law, Rada; and many family and friends from all over the world.
~ The Ilic Family