March 6, 1938 - January 4, 2023
The Krulic family is grieving the loss of patriarch, Josip (Joe) Krulic on January 4, 2023, in his 85th year, at the Kelowna Hospital. Joe leaves behind his wife of 59 years, Patricia, and his two sons and their families - John (Diana) of Quebec, and David (Linda) of Kelowna whose four children (Tarryn, Mekenzie, Tanner and Braeden) were a constant source of pride and joy.
Joe's passing marks the end of a remarkable life, having defied death many times. He exemplified the successful immigrant, arriving in Canada as a penniless teenager and becoming a self-made businessman. Joe was born in a village in mountainous northern Croatia on March 6, 1938. As a toddler he survived, where so many perished, the "Rab", the notorious Italian concentration camp. Freed in 1943, Joe's family returned to their farm, which had to be rebuilt from ashes. A young entrepreneur, Joe started his first business at age 9 transporting mountain timber by horse. As a teenager, he escaped Communist Yugoslavia by foot into Austria. A refugee for years in continental Europe, he stowed away on a ship, landing in Montreal with just the clothes on his back. Like so many young men who came to Canada post-World War II, he leveraged his acumen and survival instincts honed in those challenging early years to carve out his place here. Arriving in Vancouver by rail on Christmas day, he connected with its Croatian community and started to build a new life. He learned English (although never quite lost his accent), and worked hard as a labourer in the agricultural, forestry and construction sectors. He married Patricia in 1963 and started a family. Suffering a broken back in a construction site fall, he defied doctors' odds that he would ever walk again.
Moving to Grand Forks in 1977, Joe started his own welding fabrication business, Ironcraft, and was the owner of the Krulic building. In his well-earned retirement, Joe and Pat enjoyed travelling and could often be found at the Christina Lake golf course. Joe was easily identified by his unique swing, the result of his back fusion.
The Krulic family is sincerely grateful for the care he received over the last years, especially to Jan for his commitment and support. Thanks to friends for the many condolences and flowers received.
A memorial celebrating Joe's life will be held in March.