February 28, 1922 – September 7, 2012
Paul James Slavonic, 90, passed away peacefully Sept 7, 2012 preceded in death by his wife, Shirley. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA on Feb 28, 1922. His parents are the late Charles A. Slavonic and Anna Stempo. Paul entered the United States Navy in July 1940 and served aboard USS Ranger, USS Princeton, and USS Philadelphia. He remained on active duty for 6 years and subsequently retired from the Navy Reserves in 1982 as Chief, Boiler Technician. His awards included the American Campaign Medal; WWII Victory Medal; American Forces Expeditionary Medal; Naval Reserve Medal; Navy Unit Commendation Medal; American Defense Service Medal with Letter “A”, Good Conduct Medal with one bronze star; and, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver and one bronze star. Paul was extremely proud of his service in the Navy and to his country. Prior to his discharge from the Navy in 1946 he met his future wife, Shirley Jacobs, at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital. They were married in August 1945. Shirley and Paul lived in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA, and Royal Oak, MI where they raised their 5 children.
In 1976 they moved to Nevada City. Following his discharge from the Navy, Paul was employed as a stoker with the B and O Railroad, served as Vice-President in Charge of Manufacturing at Standard Fuel Engineering in Detroit, employed as a draftsman and, as a tool and die worker.
In Nevada City, Paul worked as a master tradesman at Slavonic Construction, was the “go-to man” at the Flour Garden Bakery, a member of the Knights of Columbus as a 4th degree Knight, a member of the St. Canice men’s guild, a member of the Lion’s Club, and sang in the choir at St. Canice Church. Paul also lived in Sparks, NV for a short time where he was night security officer at Rail City Casino.
Paul enjoyed life to the fullest. He was always there to lend a helping hand, was very methodical and thorough, and had a passion for repair and design. He enjoyed snowmobiling, cross country skiing, spending time with family and friends, and Christmas festivities. He loved all animals, especially his beloved dogs, Cindy and Sony. Many will remember Paul as a helpful individual who left a great big footprint on all our hearts.
He is survived by brother Andy, sisters Helen and Fran, children, Mary Anne Phelan (Charles), Chuck (Barbara), Martha, Dr. Linda Murray (Bill), and John (Heather); his grandchildren Lisa, Christopher, Stephen, Catherine, Gopal, Kamala, and Emily; and, great grandchildren Zoe, Isabel, Sophia, and Andrew.
We appreciate the kind and compassionate care given to Paul by Dr. Gill and his staff, Golden Empire and Highgate, Hospice of the Foothills, and to the clergy of St. Canice.
Paul has touched so many of our lives. A memorial mass will be given September 29 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Canice Church, 317 Washington Street, Nevada City, followed by a reception at the Board of Realtors Building, 336 Crown Point Circle, Grass Valley.
Donations may be sent to: Sammies Friends, 14647 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95949 or The Knights of Columbus, Council 1875, P.O. Box 2926 Grass Valley, CA 95945.
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