Karlo J. MIRTH
1917 - 2013
New Britain Memorial-Sagarino Funeral Home
444 Farmington Ave
New Britain, CT

Karlo J. Mirth, age 96, died peacefully at home, with his loving family at his side on December 21, 2013. He was born on July 15, 1917 in Otocac, Croatia to Karlo and Antonja Certalic Mirth. He went on to study Forestry and Engineering at the Croatian University, in Zagreb, and received a Master's degree in civil engineering. Severely wounded during World War II, he was forced to flee to Italy's refugee Camp Fermo at the conclusion of the war. From 1946 to 1947, he studied journalism at the University of Rome. He later studied in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, where he met his future wife, Mercedes Velarde. They were married in 1955 and emigrated to the United States, raising four children in New York City. While working at the Foster Wheeler Corporation as a civil engineer, he studied Library Sciences at Columbia University and received a Master's degree. He then became manager of the research library at Foster Wheeler Corporation till his retirement at age seventy. He was a prolific writer of many articles relating to Croatian culture and history. He was also a publisher and editor of two journals. Croatia Press, Review and News Bulletin was started in Rome and continued in Spain and the United States from 1947 to 1980. He was active in the Croatian Academy of the United States and its scholarly journal, The Journal of Croatian Studies. He was president of the academy for many years and made Honorary President for Life in 1993, in recognition of his significant contributions. He final literary achievement was the publication of his book, Zivot U Emigraciji (Life as an Emigree), in 2003. He was a kind and gentle father who instilled the love of nature and science, and the value of education and achievement over worldly goods. He was predeceased by his wife of 41 years, Mercedes Velarde Mirth. He is survived by his four children, Karlo A. Mirth and his wife Alison, of Forest Hills, NY; George P. Mirth and his wife Linda, of Saratoga, CA; Maria Christina Mirth MD, of Farmington, CT; Anne Marie Mirth MD and her husband David, of Sterling, MA. He leaves behind four grandchildren, Sydney and Zachary Mirth, and Tanya and Nadia Gauthier. A Memorial Mass of will be celebrated at a future date at Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church in New York City. New Britain Memorial Sagarino Funeral Home, 444 Farmington Ave, New Britain, CT is serving the family. To send a message or share a memory, please go to www.newbritainsagarino.com

Published by Hartford Courant on Dec. 22, 2013.
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20 Entries
Karlo was a true gentleman. He contributed so much to the field of scholarship on Croatia, on which I was fortunate to work with him, and was always awed by his patience, knowledge, energy, bonhomie, and willingness to give unstintingly of his time. It was a privilege just knowing and talking to him over the years. RIP
Norman Cigar
March 15, 2014
Dear Anne, Chris and family- I was so sorry to hear of your Papa's passing. I am glad I was able to know him. What a wonderful, long life he lived! He will be missed but leaves behind a great legacy.
Anne Meduri
January 9, 2014
I first met "Papa" when Chris took me to New York while we were both in residency. My first visit to NYC and Papa made sure to drive us to Jones Beach. Then, many years later, we went to Croatia on a sailing trip and Papa would get on and off the boat on gangplank about 8 feet in the air .Fearless and also an excellent guide and historian. Complete strangers on the street would stop to argue or agree with him. He had been so dependent on Chris in his last years that I know he appreciated every thing she did for him. Ronnie Petty & Steve Bawks
Ronnie Petty
December 30, 2013
Dear Anne and David, my deepest condolences for you and your family. Anne, you spoke fondly of your father and his memories will always keep him alive in your heart. God Bless...
tony schwagerl
December 28, 2013
Dear Anne

Our condoleances for the passing of your dad. Isabelle an I had a chance to meet him once and the first impression was that he carried a lot of experience in his life .
We are very sorry for your loss !
Mahmoud /isabelle Aliouche
December 28, 2013
Dear Anne and Family,
Our condolences upon the passing of your dad. It was always enjoyable to hear you speak of your dad and what he meant to you and your family. We had no idea we was so accomplished and lived such a remarkable life. You must be so very proud.
Jan and Steve Kapaon
December 27, 2013
Dear Christina and family!
I'm glad I had a privilege of knowing your father somewhat more than just a neighbor. I enjoyed visits with him, being able to speak his native language, and listen to his many stories, some more personal than others. Knowing history of Croatia, it was easy enough to understand his life's path. He loved his family, and I'm glad that he spent last years of his life living closer to most of his children. He will be remembered fondly, and he will be missed....Love, Spomenka
December 27, 2013
Great man, Great family. I certainly missed you when you moved. Thoughts and prayers are with you, Harrison Weaver
December 27, 2013
Besides anything relating to Croatia, another of Papa's passions was photography. He bought his first camera, a Kodak Brownie (which is still in our possession), in Zagreb as a teenager. He set up a dark room in his house in Otocac and developed his own photographs. Papa even wrote an article (his first of hundreds if not more) for the local newspaper complete with his photos.

On our first vacation to Maine in 1974, the whole family was very anxious to see our first moose. After several days of driving the back roads around Moosehead Lake, we finally saw one! It was an adult male, with a massive set of antlers. However, it was far from us, in the back of a swamp about a half-mile away. Undeterred, Papa was going to try to get closer to the moose to take as good a photo as possible. Mom did not think this was a good idea. Understand now that Papa was wearing a blazer, dress slacks, and dress shoes, his standard attire for doing most anything – shopping, driving, etc. The only time he didn't dress like this was at the beach! As I remember it, I followed Papa as he began his trek through the swamp, hopping from dry spot to dry spot. We finally got to within about 50 feet of the moose, an imposing creature with majestic antlers. Now I had read how moose, despite looking rather docile, were more dangerous to people than even bears because of their size and unpredictability. So I warned Papa about this as he approached even closer to take photos. I held my breath as Papa got to within 10 yards and started snapping away. To my huge relief, the moose did not charge Papa and Papa got some great photos!
Karlo Mirth
December 27, 2013
to my brother in law karlo and the rest of the mirth famliy.im sorry for the lost of your father. just reading his short bio,he sounded like a man who has experience life to its fullest.you should be proud to have a father,whom you could look up to and admired. paul
paul alexander
December 26, 2013
Ever since I was a young kid, I knew that Croatian independence was extremely important to Papa, a lifelong passion. I observed first-hand all the hours and work he put into The Croatia Press and the Journal of Croatian Studies.

Never was Papa's importance in the struggle for Croatian independence manifested so clearly and vividly to me than when Alison and I visited Croatia in the late 1980s. (This was at the time when Yugoslavia was still intact, and any talk of independence was considered treason.) We were in the city of Zadar, trying to get inside the beautiful old church of Sv. Donat. But it was closed for the afternoon. However, a priest noticed us and asked if he could help. We mentioned to the priest that we were visiting from the United States; the priest, who spoke good English, expressed wonder at the fact that we were American tourists, saying that he seldom saw any. I explained to the priest that my father was born in Croatia, how he had spoken so often what a beautiful country it was. The priest then asked what my father's name was – when I told him “Karlo Mirth”, he immediately put his finger to his lips and exclaimed “Ssshhh!” Alison and I froze in place, astonished, our eyes and mouths wide open. The priest whispered that my father was a very important man to Croatia, that he was quite familiar with my father's work.

Alison and I walked away, shaking our heads in utter amazement.
Karlo Mirth
December 26, 2013
I remember Uncle Karlo as a kind, intelligent and a gentleman. Now he's with his wife, my aunt Mercedes with God. Always remember the weeks they spent in Spain, we enjoyed being together. Love and prayer, Marta Velarde
Marta Velarde
December 25, 2013
Dear Chris, Dear Karlo, impossible to find words, what I felt, when I heard about, phoning to Marta and Victor tonight. I've a lot of problems accepting the farewell for ever, and so with my Uncle Karlo. His charity , his so specific kind of laughing and his lifelong battle for Croatia and fairness in the world made and make him to my Neslon Mandela. Never ever i will forget his visit at my home nearly 22 years ago for the christening of my daughter and my visit Easter 1997 in South Carolina. Wish all the human beings would take the advantage of their intelligence in living as Tia Karlo did it. I'm sure he now will meet Tia Mercedes, my papa and my brothers, may he give them all the love he gave us here.
Maria Isabel Brandenburger (Germersheim, Germany)
Maria Isabel Brandenburger
December 24, 2013
While growing up, I had always had an image of the European Gentleman, (probably gleaned from watching those black and white WWII movies) as an old-world, elegant, witty and worldly man, always with a gleam in his eye.

Mr Mirth (as the 85th street gang referred to him), was precisely such a man.
I never saw him leave his home unless he was well-dressed in his vest and jacket, a shock of grey hair announcing his thoughtful face.

His patience and forbearance against an unceasing onslaught of idiocies wrought by his son Karlo's friends (and of course, Karlo himself), were legendary, evoking rarely more than a knowing shake of his head.

His dry humor was especially memorable: on one occasion when his son Karlo's and mine real estate venture floundered, he answered the phone and called out to Karlo "It's the other real estate genius on the phone!"

I'll always remember him as a gentleman of a bygone era.
I was very fond of him and he shall be missed...

Basil Safos
Basil Safos
December 24, 2013
Papa was truly an amazing man. His incredible bravery, perseverance and intelligence not only made him a Croatian hero but also made him an American this country was honored to call its own. We are so very glad we had papa our life, for just knowing him and his story made us better people.

Love to all his family,

Diane and Karl
December 24, 2013
Dear Chris & Family,
Words can not describe the sorrow we feel for the loss of a wonderful Father & Grandfather. May the peace of Christ be with each of you everyday as you need it. I will always remember the smile Papa always had & also the wonderful foods he made. Continue to share your memories with each other & Papa will always be near as he is dear to each of your hearts.

Love & Prayers, Ray & Judy Bawks
Ray & Judy Bawks
December 23, 2013
I met my uncle Karlo when he came to Spain over 15 years ago. I've always heard about him so well ... I was impressed by his intelligence,,his ability to communicate with others and... he spoke many languages¡ But mostly he was an excellent person. All my family says goodbye¡
Cristina Velarde-Mayol
December 23, 2013
I was very nervous to meet my Father in-law for the first time, he seemed quite a formal and serious man. He quickly made me feel like part of the family and I understood immediately that of all his wonderful attributes, it would be his generous spirit and amazing sense of humor that I would treasure most. I love Papa and will always remember him with great affection.
Alison Mirth
December 22, 2013
My thoughts are with you as you honor and celebrate your beloved father's life. He will continue to live within you. Erika Sundberg
Erika Sundberg
December 22, 2013
Although today I am sad that you are no longer here I will do my best to be a good and kind person to honor your memory. I love you Papa.
Maria Christina Mirth
December 22, 2013
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