Very. Rev. Nedeljko Lunich, 85, reposed in the Lord on January 12th. Father Ned, as he was known to many, served as a priest for nearly 60 years, 40 of which were at his last parish, St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Joliet, Illinois. He retired nearly ten years ago but remained visibly active in many facets of serving the faithful on the Diocesan and local levels. He was the first cleric to be chosen as the Serb National Federation Man of the Year in 1972/73 and the first honoree ever to receive the award a second time when the SNF named him Person of the Year in 2023. 

Father Ned was born in 1938 in the former Yugoslavia, and ultimately attended seminary and Theological college in Belgrade. He came to the United States in 1963, for a time living with a Serbian family in Indiana. He worked for the Gary Park District and a steel company in East Chicago. He continued his studies at the University of Detroit and Wayne State University in Michigan and was ordained to the diaconate, and then the priesthood in 1965. 

He is survived by his son Stevan Lunich and daughter Neda (Mike) Bilder, and grandchildren Gabriella and Alexandra Lunich, and Stella and Michael Bilder, as well as sisters Dara (†Tode) Krasic, Stana (†Rev. Svetozar) Jovicin, and Danica (†Marko) Vukovic, andnumerouse nieces and nephews in the USA and former Yugoslavia. 

“Serving the people and praying for them, it comes from the heart and soul,” Father Ned said on his retirement. Interment at St. Sava Monastery Cemetery, Libertyville, Illinois, January 22. Memory eternal. 

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