Vojin Hadži-Pavlović Vojin Hadži-Pavlović

Vojin Hadži-Pavlović

(1943 +2021)

Early Life

Vojin Hadži-Pavlović was born in Belgrade on September 11, 1943, the only child unto Predrag "Pedja", an attorney who studied at La Sorbonne, and Katarina "Kaja", a judge who attended the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law. A month before Vojin's birth, Predrag was taken prisoner-of-war by Nazi forces, never again to safely return to his homeland.

Vojin spent his early life and primary school years in Soko Banja, surrounded by family and raised by his mother, aunts, and beloved grandmother, Ljubica "Majkica". Later, Vojin moved to his mother Kaja's Veliko Gradište and eventually to Smederevo, where he completed High School amongst a powerhouse class of students and great friends. Vojin was described by his family and friends as a highly intelligent, creative, and gifted person.


Returning to his birthplace of Belgrade, Vojin attended the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Structural Engineering. His thesis advisor, Vladimir Korolija, was a big fan, telling him that he was one of the best students in ten generations. Vojin graduated at the top of his class in 1967, having honed not only a keen knowledge in engineering but also several lifelong friendships.

Coming to America

After graduating, Vojin packed his bags for a visit to America. Landing in Chicago in the summer of '67, what started as just a visit to meet his father for the first time ended up changing his future trajectory. Vojin eventually decided to settle permanently in America and began his engineering career in Chicago.

Professional Career

Vojin quickly worked his way up the ranks in various jobs in engineering firms, including Control Data Corp, Fluor Engineering, Sargent & Lundy, and Brown & Root, among others. Eventually, his work would take him to Michigan, Texas, California, all over the USA, and even internationally.

In 1980, while recovering from serious back surgery, Vojin decided to go into business for himself, founding Decision Management Company, Inc., a management consulting firm. With his client's needs driving his creativity for solutions, Vojin shifted the focus of DMC to software development. Vojin's brainpower was thrown in creating one of the first electronic document management/storage/retrieval systems in the marketplace. He named the product Questys. Questys evolved, and other products were subsequently created to combine the power of Questys with workflow, and with that, he also launched LegisStream and WorkStream.

By the time the company was sold in 2008 (by then under the name of Questys Solutions, Inc), Vojin had employed dozens of people (including Natasha & Andre, who eventually ran the company) and helped change many of their lives for the better.

He served hundreds of clients in the public and private sector (municipalities, utilities, counties, states, special districts), some of whom to this day recognize and sincerely appreciate the way he changed the way they work.

Personal Life

On a handful of occasions through mutual friends, Vojin met the lovely Gordana Travica. It wasn't until January of '72 that their courtship began, and Vojin quickly set out to seal the deal. On April 22, 1972, Vojin and Gordana married at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church in Chicago.

Vojin & Gordana welcomed three children: Natalia "Natasha" in January 1973, Aleksandar "Sasha" in August 1975, and Andre in May 1977.

Moving the family to Mission Viejo, California, in late 1978, Vojin and Gordana raised their children and became the de-facto Kum, host, friend, mentor, and confidant to many. Vojin was Kum (Godfather) to thirteen Kumići, and the wedding Kum to several others.

Together with Gordana, he carried on the tradition of celebrating the Krsna Slava of his forefathers, St. Lazarus. Slava was always a festive and memorable event at the Hadzi-Pavlovic house, not only to his fellow Serbs but to the many friends & colleagues Vojin collected along the way.

Vojin was an active member of and served on many Serbian Orthodox Church and Diocesan committees/boards, including St. Archangel Michael (So. Chicago), St. Petka, Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, and the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America.

Vojin was a devout Orthodox Christian, and for many years contributed his time, talent, and personal & financial offerings to the Church. He was a strong family man and was unconditionally welcoming not only to his in-laws Radojka & Čedomir Dobrilovich, his children's spouses Karen (Andre) and John (Natasha) but also to countless friends who became "family".


In 2005, Vojin and Gordana moved to Indio, California, where they began their new life as empty nesters. Vojin was a hard worker and a voracious reader. It was rare to ever find Vojin sitting idle, and in retirement, this didn't change.

In addition to obtaining his California Real Estate Sales and Brokers' Licenses, Vojin also bought and completely restored an old family home in Soko Banja and an apartment in Belgrade. There, he and Gordana spent summers for several years, reconnecting with old friends and family and welcoming his next generation to the Fatherland.

Vojin immensely enjoyed his grandchildren: Téa, Nikolas & Matteo (Natasha & John), and Olivia and Nicole (Andre & Karen). He loved spending time with them, telling them stories, playing the harmonica for them, and, when they grew older, helping them with their homework. He was a very proud Deda, and in turn, he was very loved.

As a dutiful descendant of Hadži-Pavle Jovanović of Mužinac and Sokobanja, Vojin took on the great task of creating a Family Tree (Rodoslov) dating back to the 1700s. The project took innumerable hours, all of which were well worth his efforts to educate future generations of their rich family history.

Setting the record straight was also an endeavor of great importance to Vojin. His late father, Predrag, had been declared an enemy of the state by the Communist Yugoslav government, thereby preventing his return to the country, as a return would have resulted in his execution. The regime had not only robbed Vojin of a childhood knowing his father but had also confiscated countless generational lands and properties owned by Vojin's ancestors. During his retirement, with a helpful hand from his son, Sasha, Vojin worked tirelessly with attorneys to posthumously rehabilitate his father's good name and put the wheels in motion for hopeful restitution of the family lands in the future.

Vojin spent countless hours reading and writing. He read the Holy Bible cover-to-cover multiple times and probably thousands of novels throughout his life. He completed and published his translation of Pilgrim's Treasure (Hadžijino Blago), a book written by his great uncle, which was loosely based on their family's patriarch, Hadži-Pavle Jovanović. Vojin translated a collection of Serbian articles about the Hadži-Pavlović family so that his grandchildren wouldn't forget from where they came. Inspired by their beauty, Vojin also translated the wonderful Prayers by the Lake (Molitve na Jezeru) by St. Nikolai Velimirović,

Vojin's mind was keen, his tongue was spicy, and he had a mischievous sense of humor. He loved to tell jokes and was thoroughly charming with a special twinkle in his eye. He was a wealth of knowledge and a shining example of hard work, honesty, and integrity. He was a straight shooter, and with him, you always knew where you stood. Vojin was a decent, remarkable man and a beautiful spirit…hard-shelled, yet soft-hearted. He was one of a kind and loved by many.

Final trip to Srbija….Jesen Stiže

In 2017, Vojin was diagnosed with two forms of cancer: lung and esophageal. With an unwavering Gordana by his side, he battled the wretched disease overcoming countless therapies and treatments for four years. He never complained but also had a very realistic and peaceful outlook on what was awaiting him. "I'm good with God," he would say, pointing towards the Heavens.

By the summer of 2021, Vojin's cancer metastasis had Vojin running out of treatment options. Nevertheless, his doctors allowed him a visit to Serbia, after which he was to return to California to embark on another round of chemotherapy.

With a joyful heart and a tactical mind, Vojin planned this trip to Serbia with great fervor. He visited with family--and friends who were like family--in Beograd, Smederevo, Šabac, and Sokobanja.

Sadly, the trip took a tragic turn when both Vojin and Gordana contracted Coronavirus. Gordana thankfully recovered. Vojin's battle was valiant, and he survived COVID, only to ultimately fall to post-Covid and oncologic complications.

Vojin fell asleep in the Lord on September 22, 2021, in Belgrade. He leaves his wife, Gordana, children: Natasha (John), Sasha, Andre (Karen); grandchildren: Nicole, Téa, Olivia, Nikolas and Matteo; and countless family, Kumovi and friends.

We are heartbroken, but have faith in the Resurrection, and are certain that he is smiling down upon us all from Heaven.

Opelo (Serbian Orthodox Funeral Service) will take place on Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 11 a.m. at St. Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, 1621 W. Garvey Avenue, Alhambra, CA 91803.

Daća (Serbian Memorial Luncheon) to follow at Serbian United Benevolent Society, 4355 E. Second Street, Los Angeles, CA 90022.


In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations in Vojin's memory be made to a charity of your choice or to one of Vojin's favorites:

St. Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
1621 West Garvey Avenue, Alhambra, CA 91803
attn: Hadzi-Pavlovic Memorial Endowment
by check or online (Scroll to "Memorial Donations" and follow directions)

St. Luke's Serbian Orthodox Church - Building Fund
214 Amandas Way, Leander, TX 78641
by check or online

Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos
30251 Golden Lantern Ste E #380, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
by check or online

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

City of Hope

For detailed information please contact:
SVETA GORA FUNERAL HOME, Chicago, tel 773-588-2200.

St. Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral

Serbian United Benevolent Society


Nemanja Bogunovic (Beograd, Serbia)

Many years ago, when I was just a student, struggling on my own in California, this kind gentleman helped me tremendously. When I had no place to stay, he invited me to his home and treated me as his own child. I will never forget him and I will never forget what he has done for me. I am truly honored I had a chance to meet such a dear person, from whom I learned so much over the relatively short period of time we spent together. My deepest condolences to the family Hadzi-Pavlovic. Nemanja

Nikola Jankovic (Park Ridge, Illinois )

Dear Gordana and family, we are very saddened to hear about Vojin’s passing. He led an amazing life filled with many accomplishments. May you find comfort in the many wonderful memories and love you shared. Memory Eternal! Vecnaja Pamjat! Nikola, Mirjana and Katarina

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