Ivan Franjo Kostelac
1925 - 2020
January 24, 1925
December 20, 2020

Ivan Franjo Kostelac

1925 - 2020

Ivan Franjo Kostelac passed away peacefully in Napa on December 20, 2020. Ivan was born on January 24, 1925 in Zagreb, Yugoslavia to Roko and Sofija Kostelac. The family moved to Springs, South Africa, where he was raised with eight siblings. Ivan spent his childhood in South Africa, where he was trained at the age of 14 to cut hair by his father who was a professional barber. It was there that he graduated from high school and went on to follow in his father's profession as a barber.

Ivan then moved on to Rhodesia and England for a short time as a young man, then to Montreal, Canada in his twenties where he met Kreszentia "Sally" Thalhofer who had emigrated from Germany. They married in Montreal where their son John was born, and then immigrated to the United States in 1962 when Ivan was in his thirties, and raised their family in Napa.

Affable, friendly and quick with a joke, Ivan was a natural at making people feel welcome and comfortable in a barber's chair. In 1965 he opened his own business, Ivan's Barber Shop, on Tennessee Street in Vallejo. His 55-year career as a barber culminated in 1995, when he sold the shop to begin retirement and spend time with Sally who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

While Ivan enjoyed the outdoors, camping and short trips to destinations such as Lake Tahoe and the California Coast, after retiring he spent a year on his own traveling around the world visiting relatives and siblings on several continents. He also became a citizen of the United States in his later years.

Outgoing and social, Ivan had friends that he met regularly for coffee and conversation. He also enjoyed the traditional holiday celebrations with his son, daughter-in-law and her family in Napa where he was always a lot of fun, talkative and genuinely interested in the lives of others.

Along with his family, Ivan's greatest joy and accomplishment, was the home he owned in the rural area of Coombsville just outside of Napa, where he raised his family for decades and ultimately spent most of his retirement years. The quiet and spacious property, which required a lot of work and upkeep, was rewarding and a place that he loved as it allowed ample space throughout his adult life for gardening, harvesting vegetables and raising chickens, ducks, geese, and rabbits.

Ivan and Sally were members of St. John's Catholic Church in Napa for many years. Ivan was predeceased by his parents, seven siblings and in 1996 his wife Sally. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, John and Laura Kostelac of Napa, a sister Mary Polglase of Australia, and many nieces and nephews in South Africa, Australia and the United States. Internment will be private at a later date.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Napa Valley Register on Dec. 30, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Funeral services provided by:
Tulocay Cemetery, Crematory & Mortuary
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11 Entries
I shall always remember Ivan for his cheerfulness and good humor, and especially for his being one of the kindest people ever. I am so sad to read of his passing.
Fiona Campbell
January 13, 2021
I am saddened to just hear of Ivan´s passing. I have such great memories of him from the Napa Farmers Market. He was very special and unique. I absolutely loved his sense of humor
Michele Bera / Bera Ranch
January 13, 2021
I am saddened by the passing of Ivan. I knew him for several years as a fellow Peetnik. I also visited him at his most recent apartment on Villa Lane. We hung his beloved family pictures. I always enjoyed his life stories and laughter. He will be missed. Condolences to all his family and friends.
Donna Prewoznik
January 10, 2021
Frank was a very good neighbor. Sorry John for your loss. RIP Ivan.
Bob and Janice Galbraith
January 4, 2021
I remember Ivan fondly because he always greeted me so enthusiastically whenever I saw him at the Napa Farmer´s Market where he volunteered for several years. He was a lovely man and lived his life well. I will be remembering him in my prayers.
Judy Andrich
January 1, 2021
I will miss Ivan very much! I gave him a ride to Farmers Market in Napa every market day for two years. My husband (Greg) and I had to be there early, so Ivan gamely came with me, often before it was light. He would help to set up the eating area, then man the main information booth. He was so interesting to talk to! I know he missed Sally very much, and he is with her now.
Barbara and Greg Ciapponi
December 31, 2020
I am so sorry John. You are in my thoughts.
Linda Roth
December 31, 2020
So sorry to hear about Ivan´s death. I was one of his coffee buddies at Peet´s for many years. We heard many stories, especially about your Mother. Her death was a real loss to him. It was fun to hear his stories and he always impressed me with how active he was for his age. My condolences to you and your family.
Sherry Clark
December 30, 2020
My condolences John. May he rest in peace.
December 30, 2020
Good man for all seasons.
December 30, 2020
I had the pleasure of spending many farmers markets trying to corral Ivan as he volunteered at the bakery and in general kept me on my toes. I was just thinking about him the other day and am truly saddened to hear of his passing. All the stories I could tell would sound rude if you weren´t there to see them unfold. I´ll keep him in my heart always.
Joan Taramasso
December 30, 2020