Cover photo for Gregory Jurkovich's Obituary
Gregory Jurkovich Profile Photo
1928 Gregory 2016

Gregory Jurkovich

March 11, 1928 — December 14, 2016

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 am Monday, December 19, 2016 at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Aurora with Fr. Peter Lambert celebrating. A visitation will be held from 1-3 pm Sunday with a 2:45 pm rosary service at the Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Aurora and will continue one hour prior to mass at the church. Military honors will be accorded by the Aurora-Hoyt Lakes Color Guard. Interment will be in the Lakeview Cemetery in Buhl. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers. Gregory J. Jurkovich, 88, of Aurora, MN died peacefully on Dec. 14th, 2016 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, MN. Greg suffered a major heart attack on Dec. 12th. He passed peacefully surrounded by his family, including his wife of 65 years, Elaine. Born on March 11th, 1928 in Buhl, MN Greg was the oldest of five children raised by Matilda (Pocrnich) and Marko Jurkovich, both Croatian-born. Pride in Croatian culture permeated Greg’s upbringing as the Iron Range was filled with immigrants and mining town adventures. “Gergie”, as Greg was affectionately known to his family, graduated from Buhl HS in 1946. He served with the US Army’s occupational force of Japan from 1946-1947. Upon return to the States, Greg earned an accounting degree in 1949 in Minneapolis, and met the love of his life, Elaine Kiest, marrying in 1951. In 1960, they built a house and began a wonderful home together in Aurora. Greg loyally worked 38 years for Erie/LTV Mining Company as an accountant where he had many work friends and often shared fond stories of those years. Greg loved travel, primarily to see his children and grandchildren, but also including memorable trips to Croatia, Ireland, Alaska, and Hawaii. He was close to all his siblings, traveling with them or visiting them often. He appreciated good food, including Elaine’s German and Croatian dishes, her famous holiday feasts, and dining out. Greg took pride in his house and yard carved into the woods on the edge of Aurora. As a devout Catholic, Greg was a regular attendee of first Friday masses, and was an altar boy early in life and again in his 80’s. He and Elaine were awarded Aurora’s “Key to the City” in 2012 for dedicated citizenship, including their well-recognized Adopt-a-Highway road sign for 20 years of litter pick-up on Hwy 135. Above all, Greg was a devoted husband, steadfast father, and adoring grandfather. Greg and Elaine pushed their children to get as much education as possible and proudly attended every graduation ceremony of their children and grandchildren. Greg is survived by his wife Elaine; four sons, ten grandchildren, one great-granddaughter: son, Dr. Gregory J. “Jerry” (De) of Sacramento, CA and granddaughters: Jessica, Allison, and Chelsea; son Tim (Bonnie) of Gilbert, MN and grandchildren: Jennifer, Jason (Tanya), and Tristan and great-granddaughter: Kennedy; Son Brad (Krista) of Olympia, WA and grandchildren: Ben and Annie; and son Jamie (Stephanie) of St. Paul and grandchildren: Grace and Marko; two brothers Jim (Helen) of Hibbing, MN and Mark of Nashville, TN; two sisters, Martha Arko of Maplewood, MN and Theresa “Nonnie” (Mike) Leary of Burnsville, MN; numerous nieces and nephews. Greg had a kind heart and a playful sense of humor. His large family and many friends will miss him dearly.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Mass

Monday, December 19, 2016

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Holy Rosary Catholic Church

16 W 5th Ave N, Aurora, MN 55705

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