Bernard M. Luketich
1931 - 2015
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Bernard M. Luketich, 84, of Cokeburg, died Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at Allegheny Hospital with his loving family by his side. He was born in Cokeburg on Aug. 17, 1931, a son of Ivan and Emma Grossek Luketich. Bernard was one of five children born to the Luketich family. His father, Ivan, was born in the village of Zagorje, Ogulin, Croatia, and came to the United States in 1904, where he settled in Cokeburg, to work as a coal miner. Respected as a coal miner's son and a coal miner himself in his youth, he was employed at Bethlehem Mines from March 1950 until November 1952. Bernard Luketich became interested in CFU activities at a young age. He joined the Croatian Fraternal Union in 1932 and was elected president of his local CFU Lodge in Cokeburg in 1949 at the age of 16. After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea during the Korean conflict, from November 1952 to November 1954, Luketich returned home to become Deputy County Controller of Washington County, a position he held until joining the CFU National Administration in 1964. In 1951, Bernard Luketich attended his first CFU National Convention as the youngest delegate. He was elected to the National Board of Trustees in 1959, to the Executive Board in 1964 as national treasurer, and in 1977, as national first vice president. He was sworn into office as National President on June 1, 1978, and was re-elected at conventions every four years from 1979 to 2011. He also served as president of the CFU lodge in Cokeburg and as a past president of the United CFU Four County Lodges. He organized a youth cultural group, St. George Junior Tamburitzans of CFU Lodge 354 at Cokeburg, in 1950, serving as the ensemble's manager since its inception, and later organized the St. George Adult Tamburitzans. His popular radio program, "Voice of the CFU-Four Counties", broadcast exclusively in the Croatian language, was heard over the western Pennsylvania airwaves every Sunday afternoon for 59 years. Luketich launched the CFU Junior Cultural Federation and the CFU Adult Tamburitza Federation, both which promote Croatian Tamburitza music throughout the United States and Canada. He served on the boards for the CFU Scholarship Foundation and the Croatian American Professional and Business Association of Pittsburgh. In 1991 President Luketich launched a humanitarian campaign within the Croatian Fraternal Union which resulted in the collection of nearly $1.2 million for the disbursement of an estimated $23 million in goods and services to aid the people of Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina. Luketich was also instrumental in the organization of the National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) when a strong need existed for unifying all Croatians living in the United States. He was the recipient of numerous citations and prestigious awards from the Croatian government, was honored as Man of the Year by the United CFU Four County Lodges, CFU Scholarship Foundation Inc., the Fraternal Societies of Greater Pittsburgh and several other fraternal organizations, including John Jordan Upchurch Award for distinguished leadership and service to the fraternal benefit system. A lifelong resident of Cokeburg in Washington County, Luketich served as a member of the Cokeburg Borough Council from January 1958 until Jan. 2, 1974, when he became Mayor of the Borough of Cokeburg, a position he has held for more than 40 years. Luketich has dedicated more than 56 years in public office serving the Cokeburg community. He was an active member of Ave Maria Parish in Bentleyville. On Sept. 20, 1952, he married Martha Cindric Luketich, who survives. Also surviving are two daughters, Marlene Luketich-Kochis (Daniel) of Scenery Hill and Bernadette Luketich-Sikaras (John) of Eighty Four; three grandsons, Derek Hohn, Adam Henderson and Marko Kochis. Deceased are two brothers, Thomas R. and Joseph B. Luketich; and two sisters, Helen Zammetti and Mary C. Luketich.
Visitation will be held Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, and Sunday Dec. 13 from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Croatian Home, 26 Grant St., Cokeburg, PA 15324. A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, at 10 a.m. at Ave Maria Parish, Bentleyville, with Rev. Edward Yuhas and Rev. Pierre Falkenhan. Interment will follow at St. Luke Cemetery, Bentleyville. Full Military Honors will be accorded by the Bentleyville American Legion Post No. 165. All who are attending the funeral are asked to go directly to the church. The family of Mr. Luketich suggests that no flowers be sent and memorials be made to the Croatian Fraternal Union Scholarship Foundation. The LEONARD M. PAVLIC FUNERAL HOMES INC., Bentleyville, is handling the arrangements.



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Published in Valley Independent from Dec. 10 to Dec. 11, 2015.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
DEC
12
Visitation
01:00 - 08:00 PM
DEC
14
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00 AM
Ave Maria Parish
DEC
14
Interment
St. Luke Cemetery
Memories & Condolences
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48 entries
January 7, 2016
Çarla and Bill Sadvary
December 27, 2015
To the Luketich Family, I send my heartfelt condolences. Mr. Luketich was a good man that accomplished much for Croatian solidarity in the United States. He leaves behind a great legacy. May this legacy inspire many to continue his work, and bring great comfort to all those who feel a loss in his passing. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Luketich at the 100 Anniversary of the CFU. I take pride in being a CFU member and am thankful to Mr. Luketich for his tireless efforts to continue the vision of its founders. May Our Lord bless his every good deed and grant eternal rest onto his soul. Let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen!
Maria Zic
December 20, 2015
I was so sad to here of the passing of Bernard (Bernie). He was a deeply devoted and very kind hearted person. I will always remember how he took me under his wing many years ago and helped nurture me about the traditions of the Croatian culture. He was a truly sensational person and will be deeply missed. He definitely left a legacy in this world that will continue on for generations to come..... I will miss his always smiling face and warm greeting .... To Martha, Bernadette, Marlene and the rest of the family my deepest condolences in your loss. My God keep your safely in his hands ....
Patty Kearns
December 16, 2015
So Sorry for your loss, will be missed by many.
Frank & Marlene Fereza
December 15, 2015
Our deepest sympathy.
Barbara Barnes & Devon Doyle
December 15, 2015
There were always, and always will be the exeptional people who will endeavour that the flame of love for their Homeland and the Homeland of their ancestors doesn't go out. One of those dedicated people was Mr. B. Luketich. Decidedly, and on the highly civilised level, he worked hard on bonding the Croatian migrants in USA. As such, he gained a very high reputation and respect, not only amongst Croatian emigrants and their descendants arond the world , but also in te public life and political domain of the Country USA. May he rest in peace!
Ante Tomelic
December 14, 2015
Dear Bernadette and Family:
May your father's soul rest in peace and may the perpetual light shine upon him.
With deepest sympathy,
Paul J. Gitnik
Paul Gitnik
December 14, 2015
Dear Bernadette and Family:
May his soul rest in peace and the perpetual light shine upon him.
Respectfully yours,
Paul J. Gitnik
Paul Gitnik
December 14, 2015
Some of my fondest childhood memories were with the St. George Jr. Tammies, especially on our 1969 trip to Yugoslavia. When our ensemble did well with our singing/dancing/playing instruments, Bernie and Martha would not only gleam with pride for Marlene and Bernadette, but for all of us. We were truly loved and appreciated as "their kids". You all are in our thoughts and prayers.
John Goroncy
December 13, 2015
To the Luketich Family, our deepest condolences for the loss of a husband, a father and a grandfather. May he forever rest in peace and always stay in your hearts.
Dennis & Eva Pintaric
December 13, 2015
The Croatian people have lost a great leader. His life was always dedicated for the Croatian people. He will be sadly missed. Our deepest sympathy to his family.

Joe and Connie Filipcic
Joe Filipcic
December 13, 2015
Deepest condolences to Luketich family on their loss of father and husband.
Drago and Lidia Koscak
December 13, 2015
On behalf of CFU Lodge 530 "Ogulin" and the Cindric family, I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the Luketich family during this difficult time. Bernard was truly a powerhouse, and a lasting inspiration. Rest assured that his legacy will never be forgotten, and he will live on through the many, many hearts that he impacted throughout his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Marko Cindric
December 13, 2015
Rest in peace.
Elizabeth Nincevic
December 13, 2015
Sorry for your loss.
Michael Palovich
December 12, 2015
We would like to offer our deepest condolences to the Luketich family on the passing of Barnie. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time.
Hank and Wilma Vukovich
December 12, 2015
We send our sincere sympathy and prayers for all of the Family at this sad time. Mr. Luketich is remembered as a generous, talented man with a welcoming heart, a friend to so many. God Bless you all with many warm memories.
Rich and Jane Sestric
December 12, 2015
My prayers are with the family of Bernie.
During this time of deep sorrow. I am
Donna Pawich Luketic.
December 12, 2015
To the family of Bernie, Sorry for you loss. My hearth and prayers are with your family through out this difficult time. I always liked Bernie, he was a very terrific ,tender hearted gentleman, he will be sadly missed by all.
Nancy Skiles
December 12, 2015
On behalf of all of the members of Lodge 739, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the whole Luketich family on the passing away of Bernard Luketich. Personally, I was honoured and blessed to know Bernie. He was truly a unique individual with great leadership abilities that promoted Croatian Culture and Heritage. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy shall endure because of the positive effects he had on the lives of individuals he touched during his lifetime. May you rest in peace Bernard Luketich!

Robert Panenic
December 12, 2015
Our deepest sympathy to the family of a great icon and pillar for many years of the Cokeburg and the National Croation Communities. He will be sadly missed.
Dr. Alexander Lese and Gail G. Lese
Naples, Florida
Dr. Alexander /Gail G. Lese
December 11, 2015
With Deepest Sympathy to the Luketich Family. God Bless You All in Peace
Catherine Tokich
December 11, 2015
We are very sorry for the loss of Mr. Luketich. He was a very nice man.
Mato & Beverly Dracar
December 11, 2015
So very sorry for your loss
Mr.&Mrs. Michael Mance
December 11, 2015
My Dear friends, I am very sorry for the loss of a great man, husband, father,
grandfather and tremendous leader.My thoughts and prayers go out to all.
Neal Kubala
Neal Kubala
December 11, 2015
Lord embrace Bernie and reward him a
Special Place at the Banquet Table of
Life Eternal.

Bernie will be remembered in each of our "Beautiful Book of Memories."

I have many fond ones being a dancer in his first Kolo Group.

God Bless his Family.
Richard Silver
December 11, 2015
Sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to the Luketich family. Bernie will be greatly missed.
Marilyn Wasulko-Yurchick
December 11, 2015
Please let me send my deepest condolences to the entire Luketich family at this time of great loss. Bernie was truly one of kind and we will never see the likes of him as a leader in our Croatian American community again. I was always amazed how he endlessly embraced and juggled so many priority Croatian projects. He has been an inspiration and mentor to me for over 25 years as we grew our NFCA group in the nation's capital. I intend to keep his memory and spirit alive in some projects that I embrace over my remaining years. Brother Luketich we will surely miss you and do already. My deepest sympathies, Steve Rukavina
Steve Rukavina
December 11, 2015
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family of Bernie. He was an inspiration in many peoples lives, may he rest in peace in the arms of the lord. Joseph M & Laurie Jelinek (L-18)
Joseph Jelinek
December 11, 2015
may god bless the luketich family,bernie was one of the gentlest,kindest men I've ever known
Gee Gee Marinkovich
December 11, 2015
My sincere sympathy to Bernie!s family. He was a great person. I am Mary Stimmell's daughter. She thought the world of him.
Violet Stimmell Chmura
December 11, 2015
Carl & Pauline Rakosky
December 11, 2015
Condolences to the family, I met with him for a translation of letter from researchers overseas regarding our progenitors from Croatia and Hungary. A true gentleman.
H. Grayce Petrick Ezarik
December 11, 2015
Obitelj Luketich,

I am very sorry to read about the passing of Bernie. It is never easy to lose a parent regardless of their age or condition leading up to their departure from this life.

Bernie had a full life that impacted many people and will be missed.

You have my condolences.

Rich Baich
Rich Baich
December 11, 2015
Bernie was a fine man admired by all. My heart goes out to all his lived ones for their great loss.
AUGUST BO MARTOS JR
December 10, 2015
On behalf of Zvoci Domovine Hrvata Korduna from Cleveland. I extend our sincere condolences to the Luketic family. Bernie was a great leader and friend to everyone. You will be truly missed. Rest in peace our dear friend.
Kate
December 10, 2015
Our deepest sympathies Paul and Anna Marie Lemmon
Paul Lemmon
December 10, 2015
On behalf of lodge 9. Condolences are sent to the Luketich family. A great and generous human who will be truly missed by all who came in contact with him.
December 10, 2015
On this very sad occasion, on behalf of Holy Name of Jesus Lodge 557 of Buffalo N.Y. I extend our sincere condolences to the Luketich family. Bernie was indeed the greatest President of the CFU and a man who could make things happen. He was able to unite people and promote the best for our Hrvatska Bratska Zajednica. May he be granted eternal rest.
Charlie Kristich
Secretary Lodge 557
Charlie Kristich
December 10, 2015
On behalf of CFU Lodge 177, Board Members and Entire Membership we wish to extend our
condolences to Martha, Bernadette and Marlene and the entire family. We all feel your loss. Bernie was a great leader and organizer all his life. May the Lord bless him and may he rest in peace.
Marko Konjevod, President of Lodge #177
December 10, 2015
So so sorry for the loss of this patriarch of his family as well as many in this world Bernie was a great father, leader of the CFU and one of the most humble and giving people you would meet. He was a great father husband and grandfather to his family. He loved all of his adopted tamburitza grandchildren over the years of which he was to my children especially our youngest who he called his lil boxer. Rest in Peace you will be sorely missed by all who have come to know and love you. Dance and Sing with the Angels
Bob and Debbie Bednar
December 10, 2015
Our sympathies to Bernie's wife, Martha, and daughters Marlene and Bernadette, and their families, on the passing of your beloved husband and father and grandfather. Bernie was the "Patriarch" of the Croatian people in North America for over 40 years and was strong in his will to keep the music and the culture of his ancestors alive while providing them an awesome fraternal and insurance network to keep the people connected and protected. He was a true role model for many as a gentleman, husband, father, business leader, politician, and friend! God Bless his soul and grant him eternal Peace with our Lord!
Richard Krilich and Krilich Brothers
December 10, 2015
To the Family you lost a great Husband and Father. The world has lost a great Croatian ambassador who made our Culture survive in the USA, Canada and Croatia and other places in the world. The Tambura will keep on playing both on earth and in heaven.
CFU lodge 617 Welland , Ontario
December 10, 2015
RIP Bernie you leave an amazing legacy for which your family and friends are most grateful.........you will be truly missed.
Marcia Kosovec
December 10, 2015
Bernie was a tireless advocate for the Croatian people and for Croatian unity and cultural preservation. We are diminished by his passing. Rest in peace dear friend.
Misko Jurkovich
December 10, 2015
We lost a great man but Heaven received him. May we not mourn his passing but celebrate his life. If there are tamburas in Heaven you can be sure he is playing it
kristie habazin
December 10, 2015
Neka vam je laka zemlja poivali u miru Boijem
Ivan arkezi
December 10, 2015
The Croatian community near and far is in mourning. It has lost a tireless champion of Croatian heritage.
Lance Kristan
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