Alton | Wednesday, September 22 2010
Nick Perica, 88, passed away at 8:55 pm on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at Alton Memorial Hospital in Alton.
He was born on November 5, 1921 in Alton, IL, to the late Ivan and Bozica Perica, immigrants from Dalmatia, Austria-Hungary.
He attended Alton schools and in 1941, while working for Standard Oil Barge Line, became a U.S. Army soldier. In 1942, he was a Presidential Honor Guard for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and was then selected to be a member of the elite and top secret intelligence organization, the (OSS) office of Strategic Services, today known as the CIA. Due to his knowledge of foreign languages and the combination of mental and physical toughness and the patriotic duty to help America win the war (as the son of immigrants).
His WWII duties, included saving the lives of many downed airman behind enemy lines. (such as a factorial article by Jim Kulp, of the Telegraph, fellow agents and resistant fighters, in several countries. He trained resistance fighters to help freedom be established in their countries.
While working as a covert undercover agent, he met and married in Italy, his wife of 65 years; Ivka Eva Perica. She survives.
After the war, he worked at Laclede Steel Company, of Alton, for 40 years (while at Laclede invented major cost saving product items. He was a lifelong Roman Catholic and member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alton. He was a proud member of the Disabled American Veterans, the VFW Alton Post 1308, the Eagles of Alton F.O.E. 254, Wood River Moose lodge 1349, Knights of Columbus, Highland, IL council # 1580 and the old Rock Springs Caddies. His interests were many, enjoying: dancing, photography, golf, bird watching, nature, woodworking and telling war stories. His favorite activity was visiting with friends and family.
He is survived by his wife, Ivka; their five sons and families, Marion (Kathy) of Alton, Nick A. of Bonner Springs, KS, Bob (Melissa) of Edwardsville, David of Alton and George (Pat) of Wood River; grandchildren, Michelle Kiger of Peoria, IL, Jennifer (Todd) Russell of Godfrey, Amy (Leonard) Madalon of Shrewsbury, MO, Stephanie (Dan) Fitzgerald of Godfrey, Nicole (Brandon) Gerken of Bonner Springs, KS, Danielle Perica of Kansas City, Alex Perica of Bonner Springs, Leigh Tess Perica of Edwardsville; two great grandchildren, Lenny John Madalon of Shrewsbury, MO; a sister, Rose Sorbie Secord of Godfrey and many nieces and nephews, both here in the USA and Croatia.
He was preceded in death by his parents, 13 older brother and sisters, among them, Peter (Mary), John (Minnie), Louis (Gladys), Mary (Joe) Tasso, Lelia (Russell and Frank) Harris-Stimac, Julia (John Schneto and Joe (Jean).
He will be deeply missed by many family and friends, especially, Pete Perica (a favorite Marine nephew) and friends, Mark Gentry and Cal Ennis.
A special thanks to Dr. John Wuellner and the Alton Memorial Hospital staff.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 pm Friday, September 24, 2010 at Staten Fine Funeral Home in Alton. A funeral Mass will be at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alton with Father Nnamdi Moneme, O.M.V.
Burial will follow at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Godfrey with full military honors by the Alton VFW Post 1308.
Memorials may be given to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or St. Jude’s Research.
Online condolences and guestbook can be found at www.staten-fine.com.
Staten, Fine & Burke Funeral Home