Katarina Risko: 90 Years Young

Katarina Risko: 90 Years Young

On the occasion of her 90th birthday, two of Sr. Katarina Risko’s daughters pay tribute to their mother.

Our mother, Katarina Risko, was born Katarina Lada on the 17th November 1932. She was one of seven children in the town of Vukovar/Borovo, Croatia, Yugoslavia.

She grew up during World War II and lived in Germany and Croatia. She took her stand for the Seventh Day Adventist truth in her mid-teens and was opposed, ridiculed and taunted for her beliefs in the workplace, but she stood firm to the Bible truth during the post-war years of Communism and Socialism. She met our father, Vaso Risko at a church Convention in Osijek, Croatia, and they married on the 7th of August, 1952. Branka (Brenda) was born in 1953 in Osijek, and then plans were made for the three of them to resettle somewhere, either Canada or the USA, and they travelled to Italy and stayed in Trieste at a refugee camp while paperwork was being prepared. At this time, Zeljko (Jacob) was born in 1956, and they were granted visas to come to Australia. They travelled by sea to Australia in 1957 and were met in Sydney from the ship by the late Brother Haynes, who helped them find accommodation and work.

Life was busy with two young children, and our parents lived in Crystal Street, Petersham. Dad was a shoemaker by trade and opened his store-front business with a house where we lived at the back. Helen was born in November 1958 and Rosetta in August 1961 in Sydney. The family moved to a little country cottage in Riverstone, which was an idyllic place to bring up the children, with a huge garden and creek, and was surrounded by rural properties. However, God had other plans. Our father was asked to join the church ministry, and he started to labour for the Lord as a Bible worker. We moved to Melbourne at this time, which was in 1966 and 1967. 

Mum was always industrious, working outside the home. She was a very organised and competent homemaker, as well as a loving mother. She would always accompany our father on evening Bible studies to people’s homes, and often we children would tag along as well. In this way we all got to know lots of people who were interested in the truth. 

The family was spreading its wings, and Brenda married Daniel Lalich in 1974 and moved to Canada. Their first child, Loretta, was born in 1978. In 1980 there were three family weddings: Rosetta to Danko in Metkovic, Serbia; Helen to Predrag in Melbourne, Victoria; and Jacob to Blanka in Sacramento, USA. It was a happy year, but also a sad time for Mum and Dad, as all the children had flown the coop, and they were left alone.

From 1980 until 1992 Mum and Dad lived in Perth, Western Australia, and Dad continued to spread the gospel there. Dad sadly suffered a heart-attack at this time. Mum and Dad moved back to Sydney, and they were blessed with a few more years together. Dad passed away on 17th March 1997, at the age of 66.
Mum has continued to be strong in the Lord, and although at times has had health concerns and struggles, she has found the Lord faithful. He continues to sustain her. She will often share her favourite saying with others – “The Lord looks after His own.”

The family were blessed by coming together for our mother’s 90th birthday to celebrate this milestone in her life. May God continue to bless and keep her strong in Him.

~ Helen Milosavljevic and Rosetta Ilic