Milan Francis Ondrus of Hilton Head Island, SC passed away peacefully at his home on August 22, 2014 with his wife Marilee of 59 years by his side. Born on August 13, 1923 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, he attended law school at the University of Bratislava where he received his Doctor Juris. He continued to study political science at Lausanne University, went to the Academy of International Law at The Hague and attended the Harvard University International Senior Management program. In 1947 he worked for the Czechoslovak Government program as private secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister. He fled Czechoslovakia in 1948 to come to the United States where he was a public information specialist in Washington, DC for the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. In 1957 he joined the Dow Chemical Company. In 1961 Dow Chemical moved him and Marilee with their 3 year old daughter, Marina to Frankfurt, Germany for 8 years and later to Hamburg, Germany where they lived for another 2 years. Hired by the Brunswick Company as Vice President and area manager for Europe, Africa and the Near East he moved his family to Brussels, Belgium. He then joined FMC Corporation where he acted as Vice President and Regional Corporate Director for Europe. He was the author of numerous articles and papers for business publications and seminars. He was on the executive committee of the German Society for the advancement of science. From 1970 to 1983 he served as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany and Belgium. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1974. In 1981 he was named Officer of the Order of Leopold II by the King of Belgium. He is survived by his wife Marilee Rumpf Ondrus, his sister Valika Cepkova from Bratislava, his daughter Marina Ondrus Richey and her husband Keith Richey, 2 grandchildren Alexander and Veronica Richey, a nephew Douglas Kneale and a niece Kathy Mongeau. A memorial service will be held Friday, August 29 at 1 p.m. at St. Luke's Church. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Luke's Church, 50 Pope Ave., Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928. Arrangements entrusted to The Island Funeral Home and Crematory. www.theislandfuneralhome.com.
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Island Funeral Home & Crematory
4 Cardinal Road Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Published in The Island Packet from Aug. 26 to Sept. 26, 2014