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Mel (Milenko) Bobich


1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Mel (Milenko) Bobich Obituary
Mel (Milenko) Bobich

Mel (Milenko) Bobich completed his 91-year contribution to this world on June 5, 2018, surrounded by family. He was well-known as a San Pedro community leader, as well as a beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, and mentor. Born March 15, 1927, Mel was the youngest of five children of Tom and Evanica Bobich. He attended 15th Street School, Dana Junior High School, and San Pedro High School. Upon graduating in 1945, Mel was drafted during World War II and served in the Army Air Corps. After his discharge as a Staff Sergeant, he attended UCLA and became a lifelong Bruin fan, eventually teaching his grandkids at a very young age the UCLA eight-clap cheer. He graduated and joined Santa Fe Railway, where he would work for 37 years in various management roles until his retirement in 1987. In 1958, Mel took "the best advice I've ever received" and married his neighbor, Katie Reskusich. The couple spent five years in Topeka and Chicago due to career moves with the railroad before they returned to San Pedro for good. They were blessed with seven children, who arrived in an alternating boy/girl pattern that Mel enjoyed highlighting. Mel was a knowledgeable sports fan and, despite attending few professional games, enjoyed the distinction of personally witnessing two Major League Baseball perfect games. He considered one of his lifelong thrills to be attending Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series and he later was in the stands for Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965. As his children engaged in sports, especially baseball, he became a dedicated coach and league organizer, though he rarely chose to coach his own children to avoid playing favorites. His coaching mantra became a life lesson for all who knew him: "Participate. Learn something. Have fun." As he saw the sports facilities of his youth disappear as San Pedro grew, Mel became an active advocate for sports facilities and opportunities for youth and had a tremendous impact on generations of San Pedro youth. He was instrumental in the building of gymnasiums at Bogdanovich Park, Peck Park, and San Pedro High School and also facilitated the development of the Field of Dreams, Pirate Stadium, and various other recreation sites. Mel was also a co-founder of the San Pedro Youth Coalition, serving in the group's leadership for over 25 years until retiring a few years ago. He helped chair the organization's Future Leaders of San Pedro recognition program. Mel was known as a gentle man with high ideals, unmatched integrity, a quick wit, and a deep love of San Pedro. In 1988, he served on the San Pedro Centennial Committee and also led the effort to recognize the Top 100 Athletes of San Pedro. He was also active in numerous roles in Mary Star of the Sea parish, where he and Katie were married and where all seven of his children attended 12 years of Catholic school. He was a leader of the Holy Names Society, was a legendary bingo caller when the parish initiated that fundraising effort and helped secure a new high school campus site. Mel Bobich is survived by his wife of 60 years, Katie, his sister Ruby Pecarich, children Tom (Kitte) Bobich, Anne Bobich Asher, John (Anne) Bobich, Mary (Mike) McLachlan, Jim (Diane) Bobich, Chrissy Bobich Paley, Robert (Jeana) Bobich, 18 grandchildren: Michael (Molly), Ellen (Sean), Laura, Aaron, Rachel, Ryan, AJ, Kayla, Bryan, Mark, Sarah, Adam, Matthew, Luke, Alyssa, Brenna, Cameron, and Ella; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Rosary and visitation will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at McNerney's Mortuary, 570 W. Fifth St., San Pedro. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 870 W. Eighth St., San Pedro followed by interment at Green Hills Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the San Pedro Youth Coalition Mel Bobich Memorial Scholarship Fund or The Mary Star of the Sea High School building fund. Please sign the guestbook at mcnerneysmortuary.com.

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Published in Daily Breeze on June 12, 2018
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