Lazar Knezevic, age 75, loving husband of Dobrila, nee Ristic; caring father of Jovana; proud grandfather of Ivan; devoted son of the late Reverend Jovan and the late Paraskeva; proud grandson of the late Professor and Mrs. Lazar Knezevic and the late Protojerej Stavrofor Jeftimije and Mrs. Olga Popovic.
Opelo (Serbian Orthodox Funeral Service) took place on Monday, August 30th 2004 at 12 noon, at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville. Interment at St. Sava Cemetery.
What can be said about our dear departed Lazar Knezevic? That he was a loving and devoted husband to his wife Dobrila almost a full 42 years, that he was a loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle, devoted and dutiful son and grandson and a true friend to all who were privileged to know him. He was truly a man of God who loved and respected and in turn was loved and respected by those who knew him.
He was born in 1928 in Belgrade of father Reverend Jovan Knezevic of the famous educator family Knezevic and mother Paraskeva Popovic of equally famous clergy family of Protojerej Jevta Popovic a wonderful beginning and a truly patriarchal upbringing. However, the ominous clouds of World War II were soon to cast a dark shadow on this 12 year old boy. In 1941 the bestial act of the fascist enemy took his fathers life. Reverend Jovan Knezevic was executed with other priests, professors and school children and some 7,000 innocents in Kragujevac, Serbia. This 12 year old boy now became the man of the house, his mother depending on his help in taking care of a 10 year old brother and two 7 year oldï€ twin sisters, a role he bravely assumed. Lazar managed to survive the war only to be swept in the turbulent post war years by being falsely accused on trumped-up charges of plotting against the Communist government, and at the innocent and wonderful age of 18 as â€œmaturantâ€ was brought to a show trial, with the prosecutor demanding a death sentence! Ultimately he was given 20 years which were reduced to 12. He served 9 years, 2 of which were in solitary confinement and was pardoned in a general amnesty. Lazar resumed his studies, completing his high school and after his army obligation, enrolled at the University of Belgrade studying economics and married. However, because of his political, albeit wrongful incarceration he was persecuted and his chances for a normal life under the oppressive communist regime were limited to non-existent. Thus, after a brief marriage and subsequent divorce, on a visit to his uncle in Germany he came to France. One bright spot in his turbulent life was meeting and falling in love with Dobrila ( and she with him). After marrying and working hard together and living under difficult conditions in Paris, they came to Lazarâ€™s aunt and uncle in Chicago in 1967. By working even harder they prospered and built a wonderful life together. They enjoyed the company of many friends and family- Dobrilaâ€™s brothers had also come to America and Lazarâ€™s uncles, aunts and cousins were here too. The life was great. And when they should have retired and enjoyed the fruits of their labor, this terrible illness, the Alzheimerâ€™s struck with vengeance. Lazar fought valiantly and Dobrila spared no effort and self-sacrifice in giving him her most loving care. But it was no to be. After several years of great suffering, Lazar succumbed to this terrible illness. With our presence and prayers today, we honor Lazarâ€™s life and bid him adieu. May he rest in peace and God bless his soul.
In the name of God, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
This death notice will always remain on the Internet as the everlasting remembrance of Lazar Knezevic.
For detailed information please contact: SVETA GORA FUNERAL HOME, Chicago, tel 773-588-2200.
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