BRANKO F. POGACNIK age 90, beloved husband for 61 years of Marusa (nee Hren); loving father of Maruska Coffelt (husband Frank), Tatjana McKinley (husband James) and Matthew; devoted grandfather of Matthew (wife Nadine), Andrew and Luke Coffelt, Alex (wife Alicia), Domenic (wife Samantha), Claudia and Nicholas McKinley and Kane Pogacnik and great-grandfather of Maja, Andrew, Matthew, Valentina, Emily and Layla; cherished son of the late Feliks and Marija (nee Percic); dearest brother of John (wife JoAnn) and the late Minka and William; dear cousin of Marija and uncle, great-uncle and friend of many.
Branko was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia on June 4, 1929 and passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family on December 21, 2019. At age 16, Branko joined the Domobranci (Home Guard) before graduating High School. In 1953, he escaped Slovenia through the mountains and fled to Italy, where he spent 3 months living in Frascati di Alatri, an Italian camp near Rome. After spending time in the camp, he was invited to live with Slovenian priests who provided him a place to stay near the Vatican. He resided with them for about 3 years. In November of 1956 he left Rome and was granted entry into the United States where he was soon reunited with his brothers, sister and aunt. He lived in Cleveland where he met his wife of 61 years Marusa, they started a family, and moved to Euclid. For the past 18 years he has been a resident of Kirtland. Branko was a proud member of Tabor, Pristava, The Pensioners, KSKJ and Korotan. He was a hard-working CNC machinist for both Caterpillar and Meyer. Branko enjoyed gardening, the outdoors, traveling, and was an avid reader. He was extremely family oriented and loved spending time with them; especially his grandchildren. He will be remembered most as being a strong, passionate man who has made an impact on so many. Branko will be forever missed.
Contributions may be made in memory of Branko to St. Vitus Church 6019 Lausche Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103. Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, December 28, 2019 at St Vitus Catholic Church at 10AM. Burial following at All Souls Cemetery. Family will receive friends to pay tribute to and celebrate the life of Branko at THE ZEVNIC-COSIC FUNERAL HOME OF WILLOUGHBY HILLS, 28890 CHARDON ROAD (between Bishop Rd. and Rt. 91) FRIDAY 3-5 & 6-8PM.
Charity Name: ST VITUS CATHOLIC CHURCH
Charity EIN: 340766168