Ivanka Simatic, 92, passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 20, 2012, afer a short stay at Wildfower Court. Ivanka was born to Marija and Ettore Scarpa in the city of Senj, along the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. In 1945 during World War II , while pregnant, Ivanka along with Peter her 5 year old son and Zrinka her 3 year old daughter escaped into Austria to escape communism. Her youngest daughter Astrica was born in Austria. Ivanka never heard what happened to her husband who fought during the civil war that was going on in Croatia. In Austria she worked on a farm and crocheted and knitted for people to earn a little spending money. She waited for seven years for a visa to come to America and settled in Chicago in 1952. Te children were put in an orphanage while she worked at two jobs at the Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago and the Kraft Company for 14 hours each day for many many years. She retired from the Kraf Company at the age of 73.
Ivanka and Astrica moved to Juneau on December 12, 2000 to live with her daughter and her husband and was with them until two weeks before her death. She loved her home country of Croatia and the Adriatic Sea and often spoke of her birthplace. She loved politics and while in Chicago was very involved with the Croatian organization. In Juneau she became a member of the Catholic Daughters of America. Ivanka loved to shop and had a great eye for the latest in fashions. She also loved wearing jewelry especially rings on all her fingers. Ivanka was a wonderful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and a kind and generous person.
Ivanka is survived by her sister Carmen who lives in Croatia and many nieces and nephews who live in Croatia and France. She is also survived by her son Peter and his significant other Lynn Taylor of Desert Hot Springs, California; daughter Zrinka and her husband Kurt of Juneau; daughter Astrica of Juneau; her grandchildren Kurt Dzinich, Jr., of Juneau, Lara Dzinich and her husband John Moran of Juneau, and Sonia Dzinich of Danville, California; her great grandchildren Derek and Cassie Dzinich of Juneau, and Sebastian, Willow, and Sayja Bradley of Juneau.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Father Pat Travers on Saturday, November 17, at 1:30 pm at St. Paul's Catholic Church, 9055 Atlin Drive. Te burial will be held at the Alaskan Memorial Park Cemetery some time in May of next year. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, 419 Sixth Street, Juneau, Alaska 99801.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, 2012