Mirjan Mihailo Rajnovic, passed away peacefully on April 2, 2024, at his home in Milwaukee, WI, at the age of 85. Born on February 6, 1939, in Sibenik, Yugoslavia, Mirjan was a devoted son to his late parents, Nikola and Anka (Pelicaric) Rajnovic, and a caring brother to his late siblings, Nebojsa and Veljko.

Family was the cornerstone of Mirjan’s life. He leaves behind his loving wife, Nada (Nadine), with whom he shared a beautiful and enduring partnership spanning 62 years. His legacy continues through his cherished daughter, Milena, his son-in-law, Greg, and his two grandsons Nikola and Mihailo, who brought him immeasurable joy and pride. 

Mirjan’s journey brought him from the shores of Yugoslavia to the heart of Milwaukee, where he became a beloved member of the community. The Rajnovic journey to America began like countless others, as refugees. After years of war in their region of Yugoslavia, Mirjan and his family had to flee their home. For months, 6-year-old Mirjan and the rest of his family walked for hundreds of miles through steep mountains and a harsh winter. With a little bit of help, a lot of ingenuity, and some luck, Mirjan and his family made it to the Allied line and subsequently to safety.

For six years, the Rajnovic family lived in refugee camps, first in Italy then in Germany. Finally, just after Mirjan turned 12 years old in 1951, the family was awarded passage into the US through Ellis Island. As many immigrants do, they migrated to the region in which they knew someone from the old country, ending their journey in Milwaukee. Although quite colder than their Mediterranean homeland, the family settled down here and began rebuilding their lives. Young Mirjan was enrolled into school, excelling at mathematics and languages, learning English very quickly. Throughout his time at Pulaski high school, he enjoyed his time on the swim team, spending time with numerous friends, being with his family, and volunteering at the church. Upon graduating high school, Mirjan enrolled into UWM part-time while working at American Motors, during which he met Nada Bosanac at a picnic at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, IL. They were engaged shortly after, around the same time his Army draft notice came in, cutting his college career short. After his basic training, Mirjan and Nada moved down to Killeen, Texas, where he was stationed at Ft. Hood. Mirjan served two years at Ft. Hood, with his service ending just after his daughter Milena was born in 1963. 

Back in Milwaukee, Mirjan and Nada built a beautiful life. Mirjan worked for Rexnord as a production control manager. On many a weekend, he and Nada would spend driving around looking at different properties allowing him to become a savvy real estate investor. Much of Mirjan’s free time was devoted to the church and to others. Mirjan’s commitment to his community was unwavering. As a founder of the United Serbian Soccer Club, he combined his love for sport with his desire to bring people together. His leadership extended to his years as president of St. Sava Orthodox Church, where he also served as a board member and president of its numerous organizations for many decades. His decades of service to the church and the community are a testament to his generous spirit and his dedication to the principles of faith and fellowship. A man of deep faith, Mirjan’s devotion to St. Sava Orthodox Church and School was a reflection of his commitment to preserving his cultural heritage and supporting the spiritual education of future generations. His years of service culminated in an award, or “Gramata”, which was an acknowledgment by the Serbian Orthodox Church and Bishop, for his years of service, and his dedication to the faith.

Traveling was one of Mirjan’s greatest pleasures, and he took full advantage of his retirement to pursue this passion. For nearly two decades, Mirjan spent much of his time traveling back to Europe, especially to the former Yugoslavia, where he spent his time revisiting with family, old friends, and making new ones along the way. He blessed his family with some of the most wonderful memories of family trips, excursions, spiritual journeys to the homeland and many other countries in Europe. Yet, no matter where he roamed, his heart remained firmly rooted in his faith, his culture, and his family and friends.

Mirjan Mihailo Rajnovic’s life was a tapestry woven with love, service, and unwavering dedication to the people and causes he held dear. He was a beacon of strength and generosity, leaving an undeniable mark on the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him. His memory will be cherished and kept alive by the many lives he touched.

May his memory be eternal. Vecnaja Pamjat