“What the hell?” George Martin Radovich, 83, of Side Lake, died peacefully on June 15, 2019— although he was probably still pissed off about a thing or two.
George was born on Jan. 14, 1936, in Hibbing, to Bill and Antonia Radovich. He attended Hibbing High School. George married Barbara Haupt, a girl he had known since the fifth grade, on Oct. “twenty something,” 1956.
George owned and operated Custom Sheet Metal on Town Line Road in Hibbing for “too damn long.” Two things defined George’s life: his ability to work and to love his family. Work gave him purpose and was how he measured his worth. He never sat down, or put his feet up and could spot a lazy man from a mile away. He had no need for a professional if something required fixing and even if it sort-of worked, he kept it, then bought a few more at a garage sale for parts.
George’s greatest legacy and most-prized possessions by far though were his children, grandchildren and great-grand grandchildren—and, for the record, not one of them yet has done any wrong. At least not in George’s eyes.
He is survived by Barbara, his wife of 62 years; and their three daughters: Terri Radovich (Randy Demianiuk) of Grand Rapids, Tammi Radovich Erickson of Duluth, and Tina Radovich (aka Twinkle Toes) of Side Lake.
He was adored by 12 “magarace”—his six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. George lived for them and never stopped trying to make them laugh: Beau Erickson (Maglina Lubovich), Amber Erickson (Caleb Blomdahl), Dane Nelson, Alex Demianiuk (Alli), Caden Dahl and Kelsey Demianiuk (Leslie Corrales); and great-grandchildren: Juri, Uma, Sasha, Bodey, Marko and Dacora (plus twin boys on the way). George is also survived by his three brothers and one sister: Bill, Richard, Jack and Mary Ann.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Leroy and Gary; and one granddaughter, Lexy.
There will never be another George Radovich and for that we are sorry. He came from a different time, one where he learned the lost art of being straight forward and opinionated on virtually all subjects. He was not a fan of veiled politeness. But even if you didn’t like what he said, it was nearly impossible not to like him.
George will be remembered for his Johnny Cash-good looks, quick wit, and colorful language, including an ability to use his favorite adjective, “god-damn,” in almost every sentence. No one will forget his enormous heart and his willingness to give—even things we didn’t know we needed. George lived and died a proud Serb, Iron Ranger and Democrat; he wore each one as badges of honor.
Take a load off, George. You earned it.
The family would like to thank Virginia Hospice and Solvay House of Duluth.
Funeral: Celebration of Life in George’s honor will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, at Jim’s Sports Club at 108 W. Lake Street in Chisholm.