Sophia Lovrich Piedmont 1910 ~ 2010 Sophia Lovrich Piedmont was born on August 25, 1910 in Highland Boy, Bingham Canyon, Utah. She died on March 25, 2010, five months short of her goal of reaching her 100th birthday.Her father, Stevan Lovrich, known as Pete; had come with his father from Yugoslavia through Ellis Island, New York, in 1903. Sophia's mother, Milka, came the same way in 1908, but alone, with a tag on her dress to help authorities send her along on the train to her aunt and uncle in Bingham Canyon. Pete and Milka met that same year in Bingham Canyon and married in Salt Lake City. They operated a boarding house and hotel in Highland Boy and also ran a taxi service business. Six children were born to them before Milka died prematurely at age 40. Sophia, now 17, and the oldest, quit school to raise the other children, becoming their "mom", until all had graduated from high school. Her father left the mines and developed Lovrich Confectionary to give the children more of his love and attention and a place where his children could become employed. Before Pete's death at age 57, he was a successful businessman who was wiped out with the loss of eight buildings in the Highland Boy fire of 1932. After the younger children, "her kids", were capable of taking care of themselves, Sophia became a dental assistant to Dr. Bennion in Bingham Canyon. She was a career woman when she met George Piedmont while on a vacation in California. He was supervising a dam building crew for Morrison Knudsen Construction Company. They were married in 1940 and lived all over the United States, with George overseeing the building of 15 major dams around the United States, including those harnessing the mighty Columbia River. As a couple Sophia and George directed their energies to befriending young people by helping them find jobs and assisting them in their education. George became "Uncle Pete", and Sophia became "Aunt Sophie" to many. When George developed cancer and had to retire in 1981, they chose to relocate to a home in Midvale to be close to family, where he fought the disease to the end in 1985. Sophia has continued the tradition she and her husband established by giving a hand to students on the way up with sizeable scholarship grants to the new Bingham High School, in the names of her three younger siblings, who attended the old Bingham High School; Mike "McGraw" Lovrich, Joe Lovrich, Mary Lovrich, and nephew, Steve Smilanich. It was often hard to find Sophia at home. She was an avid golfer, belonging to a woman's golf league and winning many trophies. She was a skilled artist and had an art gallery in her home. She belonged to many organizations during her life, among them, the Women's Democratic Club, Fraternal Order of Eagles - Ladies Auxiliary, Intermountain Art Society, and the Riverton Chapter 21 Eastern Star in Riverton, Wyoming. The highlight of her later years was her contribution in helping to build a new Serbian Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City. She was acknowledged for this by the establishment of the Sophia and George Piedmont Hall at the church. Sophia was preceded in death by her husband, George; and siblings: Eva Savich, Milka Smilanich, Mike "McGraw" Lovrich, Joe Lovrich, Mary Lovrich, and nephew, Steve Smilanich. She is survived by nephews: Milan (Helen) Smilanich, Paul (Barbara) Smilanich, and niece, Millie (Bob) Tomac; she also is survived by many great nieces and nephews as well as many great, great nieces and nephews. She will be very much missed by her loving family and dear friends. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 11:00 at The Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church, 5335 So. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah. Friends may call on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. for a viewing at Goff Mortuary, 8090 South State Street. A special tribute to Sophia will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friends and family may also attend a viewing at the mortuary on Wednesday, March 31, from 9:15-10:15 a.m. Interment will take place at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 1350 East 500 South, in Salt Lake City following the church service. www.goffmortuary.com
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Published by The Salt Lake Tribune from Mar. 28 to Mar. 30, 2010.