3 September, 1929 – 28 July, 2020
Milan Ostojic was born September 3, 1929 in Vladisovo, Yugoslavia to Ana (Travica) Ostojic and Ostoja Ostojic. Milan passed peacefully on July 28, 2020 in North York, Ontario. He was the youngest of four siblings. Milan is survived by his loving wife of 67 years: Milica; his children: Nada, Ranko, and (daughter in-law) Cynthia; and grandchildren: Alexander and Christopher. Milan will be fondly remembered as a man who was grounded and resourceful; As a father and husband who worked tirelessly to provide for his family; As a grandfather (Deda) who was generous and kind (and who made the best tasting smoked sausage); And, as a friend who was unfailingly warm and welcoming.
A funeral will take place at R.S. Kane Funeral Home (6150 Yonge St., North York, ON, 416-221-1159) on Saturday, August 1st from 12:30 – 1:30 pm. Donations (in lieu of flowers) in memory of Milan may be made to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada or Cummer Lodge. The family would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Cummer Lodge for their hard work and compassionate care of Milan.
Milan was born in Vladisovo, Yugoslavia, as the youngest of four children. In his youth, he apprenticed as a cabinet maker and served in the Yugoslavian army. When he was 23, Milan worked on a house in the village of Gradishte. It was there that Milan met the family’s beautiful daughter Milica, who he would marry a year later in the village church in 1953. Milan promised his new bride that he would work tirelessly to provide for their family. Over the next two years he kept his word; earning money working as a carpenter, and by brewing and selling over 700 litres of Slivovitz. Proceeds from his entrepreneurial endeavours in homemade plum brandy afforded them a home in the village of Becmen, just outside of Belgrade, where they moved in 1954. It was in Becmen that Milan and Milica would build a happy life together and raise their two children Nada and Ranko. Life in Becman was comfortable, Milan and Milica grew much of their own food, and would spend ample time with family and friends.
Milan worked in Becmen as a highly skilled cabinet maker, most notably working for President Tito’s hunting lodge. He could also be found roaming the countryside atop his BMW Motorcycle. He had an incredible work ethic and when he was not working as a cabinet maker he was working on his land raising crops and tending to their livestock.
In 1968, with fears of another Yugoslavian war, Milan and Milica made the hard decision to leave behind their comfortable lives, friends, and family in Becmen. Milan would follow his sister Mara to Canada, where he hoped for greater safety for his family, and opportunities for his children. Because emigrating from Yugoslavia was not permitted, plans had to be made in absolute secrecy. Milan ostensibly took a job building kitchen cabinets in Vienna Austria, while also applying for Canadian visas. In Becman, Milica sold their belongings (including beautiful furniture Milan had built for their home) while telling neighbours they were moving back to Gradishte. After three short months in Vienna, Milan and his family left to Canada.
Upon arriving in Canada in September 1969, Milan quickly found work as a skilled carpenter and purchased a home for his family. He would later spend his career with PIDI Design, constructing top quality displays for companies like Mercedes.
Over the years, Milan laboriously built an extension and porch onto his home. Alongside his wife and daughter, they kept a garden out back (albeit smaller and with fewer cows than theirs in Becman), where they continue to grow the best tasting beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Milan will be fondly remembered by his loved ones. He was a man that was well grounded, he was warm and kind to those around him, and he was resourceful enough to fix anything or handle any problem. In addition to his tireless work at his job and at home, Milan still made the time to be a great father to his children. He was a role model to them in resourcefulness, hard work, and family values. As a Deda to Alex and Chris, Milan was generous with his time and actions, shared the most genuine smiles (which he never held back in their presence), and certainly made the best tasting smoked sausages in the world.
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