Robert John Separovich, 89, a lifelong resident of Anacortes, Washington passed away at his home to the loving arms of his heavenly Father on Sunday, May 5, 2013 after a long illness.
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Bob was born on January 26, 1924 in Anacortes, Washington, the son of Antony Separovich and Marija Bosnich Separovich.
As a young man brought up during the Depression era, Bob went to work at the age of 15 to help support his mother as his father had passed away early in his life and one year later Bob was commercial fishing in Alaska.
Commercial fishing dominated his early life until 1943 when he entered the U.S. Navy and World War II; his naval service included the invasions of the Philippine Islands and Subic Bay. While in the Navy he served with Admiral Kincaid aboard the command ship Wasatch and fought at the Battle of Leyte Gulf which in time became the largest naval battle in world history. Bob said history tells us we won the battle but at a terrible price.
Upon discharge in late 1945, Bob went back to commercial fishing. He spent two years with the Department of Fisheries and another year with the U.S. Bureau of Mines.
In 1960, he became an officer with the Anacortes Police Department retiring in 1978. In 1972, Bob became a U.S. Customs agent serving for 26 years; his primary assignment was aboard the Washington State Ferries as a customs duty officer.
Bob's pastime was cartooning and he often passed himself off as a "frustrated" cartoonist without any originality but loved doing it. He also loved antiques and sign collecting and enjoyed each piece that he collected, and stepping into Bob's basement was like going back in time.
He had an incredible memory of the bygone era and would mention details that others couldn't recall. He loved to read about history, especially the salmon canneries in the Puget Sound and Alaska. His love for his wife and family were foremost above anything else. They always came first.
Bob married Ljubica Damjanovic on November 21, 1949. He always said that he was the luckiest man on earth to have married her. They were married for 62 years until her death in 2011.
Bob is survived by his son, Robert A. Separovich, of Anacortes and daughter, Karmen Separovich Hardy and her husband Mike, of Anacortes, 3 grandchildren, Matt Hardy of Lynden, Suzana Hardy of Issaquah and Danielle Hardy of Anacortes, and 2 great-grandchildren, Dylan and Miley Hardy of Lynden.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and his brother Ray Separovich.
A Rosary Service will be held at 7:00 p.m., Monday, May 13, 2013 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Anacortes. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Anacortes with interment at Grand View Cemetery in Anacortes, followed by a reception at the Father Auer Center.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands. To share memories of Bob, please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on May 9, 2013