DRAGICA TISAJ (GRDIC) Peacefully on February 6, 2017 our beloved Mother, Grandmother passed away at St. Joseph’s residence. Left to cherish her memory are her children, Latsi (Bozica), Tony (Katie), Ana, and Marija along with her grandchildren Brigitta, Alex, Adrian, Dennis, Dallas, Logan, Lucas, and Nathan. Also left to cherish her memory are her sisters Mara Gerich, Ankica Ralic her brother Dragan Grdic along with many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents Mile and Manda Grdic along with her husband Andrija, 6 brothers; Jure, Ivica, Mirko, Nikola, Milan, Slavko and her sister Ruza. Mom was born March 5, 1923 in Rusavica, Croatia. She spent many days of her youth going to Centingrad for celebrations and church services at Crkva Uznesenja Blazene Djevice Marije. While her parents and older siblings worked on the fields, Mom being the oldest daughter, was the caregiver for the younger siblings, which gained her much respect in her family. At the age of 16 Mom escaped the war torn countryside working as a maid and nanny for many families in the city of Karlovac. After the war to help with the family finances she worked in a factory manufacturing hardwood floors until she received a letter from her sister, Mara who had recently immigrated to Canada. She had learned the news that her younger sister had a daughter of her own. Mom immediately made the decision to immigrate to Canada to meet her first niece and help her sister with her family. Mom arrived in Winnipeg 1957 and met Andrija shortly after. They started a family of their own and purchasing their first home on Toronto street. They spent many hours sitting on the front steps getting to know their neighbors, sharing stories of their homeland, and family favorite recipes. Together they gardened, repaired the home, hosted many family celebrations and were involved with the Croatian Community. Sadly Dad passed away in 1974 and Mama was left to raise her 4 young kids on her own. With her strong determination to be independent and wanting only the best for her children she felt it was necessary to obtain her drivers permit. She was successful at the age of 51 and drove her children, nieces and nephews everywhere, as many as 8 kids piling into her Ford Falcon to dance practices, church banquets, Baka’s +Teta’s farm, soccer games and local beaches. Mom had worked at various sewing factories then joined the Custodial department at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1971. She loved the new Tyndall stone building, walked to and from work every single day in all seasons! We would often meet her and she would take us on a tour to see the latest art exhibits. She retired in the summer of 1988, at the age of 67. Shortly after her retirement Mom travelled to Australia twice to meet her granddaughter and grandson. She spent her time taking care of her grandson and the neighbor’s children. She also travelled to weddings all over the country never wanting to miss out on a family celebration. Mom was very proud of her Croatian heritage and volunteered many hours in the kitchen for Folklorama and other community events. She was a proud member of St. Nicholas Tavelich Church, buying her second home on the same street as the church so she would never miss a service. Mama had many hobbies; she loved to experiment in the garden, growing a variety of vegetables. She successfully fused the branches of two apple trees to grow different varieties of the fruit on the same tree. Mom was a fashionista, inspired by fashion television shows and with her experience in sewing factories she would create many outfits for her daughters. She took pride in her creations. She was also very handy with a tool belt, fixing what needed repaired, painting her home and building her own shed! The greatest joy in her life was her grandchildren, spending as much time as possible sharing her life experiences and encouraging them with her positive attitude. She always had room at her dining room table to nourish the children with her Chicken soup and her life lessons. Mom will always be remembered for her good nature, positive attitude, strong work ethic and her determination to make a better life for her herself and family. The family would like to thank the staff at St. Joseph’s residence for their kindness and care of our mother. Prayers will be held Thursday February 10, 2017 at 7:00pm at St. Nicholas Tavelich Croatian Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 10:00 am at St. Nicholas Tavelich Croatian Church.