Philip George Boskovich

October 2, 1915 - September 30, 2013 Philip George Boskovich, beloved husband, father and Dido, was born October 2, 1915 in the burgeoning town of Los Angeles and passed away peacefully at his home in Westlake Village, California, 2 days shy of his 98th birthday. His parents Stjepan and Iva immigrated to America from the Herzegovina region of Croatia. The young couple was the first to be married at St. Anthony's Croatian Catholic Church in the Bunker Hill area of Los Angeles, on New Year's Day, 1911. In 1915, Stjepan and Iva along with three young sons, including infant Phil, traveled by horse and wagon over the Cahuenga Pass to their new home, a small farm in the town of Lankershim, now North Hollywood. In 1933, Phil graduated from North Hollywood High School, the first in his family to complete high school. College not being an option financially, he began his farming career helping his dad on their small 25 acre farm. At the end of World War II, Phil invited his brothers George and John to join him in forming Boskovich Bros. Farms. In 1950, he married the love of his life, Lena Bradarich, a farmer's daughter from Long Beach. Lena was Phil's trusted business advisor and true life partner for more than 63 years. In the 40's and 50's the three brothers farmed across the San Fernando Valley, from North Hollywood to San Fernando, Reseda, Chatsworth and Canoga Park. In the late 50's, as the Valley experienced tremendous population growth, Phil moved the farm to the Santa Clarita Valley. The farm specialized in green onions and Phil lovingly became known as the Onion King, which led to the company's logo, still in use today. In the 1970's the farm expanded to the Riverside County towns of Perris and Hemet, and eventually to Ventura County. Phil's two sons and nephew joined the company, renaming it Boskovich Farms, Inc. Phil was Chairman of Boskovich Farms for over fifty years. Today, the company, led by his son Phil and nephew, George, farms over 10,000 acres in California and Mexico with headquarters in Oxnard. The company farms more than thirty vegetable crops, and is the nation's largest grower of green onions. When Phil was 13 years old, USC won its first National Championship in football. There were no Lakers or Dodgers and it was a huge event in the growing town of Los Angeles. Phil became an avid fan and supporter of USC and remained so until his last day. He was a life member of USC Associates and Cardinal and Gold. In 2008, Phil was the first recipient of the Croatian National Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing him for his outstanding career and his contributions to society. He was a simple man with a profound work ethic. He approached his personal and professional life with great integrity. Despite his many successes and accomplishments, Phil was known for his humility and his benevolent heart, always encouraging those he knew with a heart-felt, "Atta Boy!" Phil donated generously to local charities including his beloved St. Anthony's Croatian Catholic Church. He was a long time member of the Produce Marketing and Western Growers Associations. Phil's priorities were always in order: he put God first, followed by his devotion to his beloved wife and family, and then his profession, which enabled him to support his family, and finally to his community, never forgetting his roots. That blueprint for a happy and fulfilled life is a wonderful example to all who were lucky enough to know him. Phil is survived by his wife of 63 years, Lena, son Philip (Inge) of Westlake Village, son Joe (Gail) of Westlake Village, daughter Janine Colich (John) of Rancho Palos Verdes, 13 grandchildren: Joseph, Jr. (Dianne), Katie, Ann Marie, Anthony, Christina, Philip, Jr., Bridget, Michele, and Matthew Boskovich, Tessa, Donilo, Nicole, and John Michael Colich and three great grandchildren, Kate, Joey and Johnny Boskovich. The family thanks Liliana Morales and Nilo Avena for their devotion to Phil over the last few years. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, October 11, 2013, 1:30 PM at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels followed by a Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the USC Catholic Center Building Fund and the David Andrew "Pooh" Maddan Foundation, which provides financial assistance to young adults battling cancer. For details go to

Published in the Los Angeles Times from Oct. 6 to Oct. 8, 2013