George Duke Yankovich 1923-2014

George Duke Yankovich, 91, of Summerville, SC, widower of Margaret Grant Lothrop Yankovich, passed away peacefully at the Hallmark HealthCare Center in Summerville on Sunday, July 6, 2014.
Funeral services will be held at the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Russian Orthodox Christian Church in Summerville on Friday, July 18, 2014 at 11 o’clock.  A Trisagion memorial service will follow immediately in Dorchester Memory Gardens.   There will be a 1:30 pm lunch following the service at the Russian Church, which is located at 122 South Main St. on the Town Square in Summerville.
Mr. Yankovich was born as one of five brothers on July 7, 1923 in Irig, Serbia, Yugoslavia, son of Kuzman Yankovich and Vera Popovich Yankovich. He began studying engineering before answering the call of freedom in World War II at age 16.  During his years of fighting, he served in support of the Allied cause as a guerilla fighter and saboteur under the command of General Draza Mihailovich.  He also served in the Yugoslav Royal Armed Forces.  Near the end of the war he carried out a number of missions for British Intelligence, surviving and escaping several captures by the Nazis while parachuting into Germany.
Following the war he emigrated to northern Ontario, where he worked a stint as a lumberjack before entering the construction industry in Windsor, Ontario.  Upon marrying his wife Margaret (Peggy) from Needham, MA in 1953, the couple moved to Buffalo, NY, where their children Joanne and James were born.
In his lengthy and distinguished career as a builder, he owned a residential construction business in Clarence, NY, for which he designed and built distinctive custom homes.  He then went on to supervise many large residential, commercial and government projects in the Charleston and Beaufort, SC areas.
In his later years he served on the Church Council for the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Charleston. He became a devoted member of the Russian Orthodox Church in Summerville as well.  He loved to show up early and light the candles in the sanctuary, so he could spend time alone amid the beauty and mystery of the icons just as he did while a young boy in Serbia.  He was known for his love of music, storytelling, food, his children, friends and church.  He was recognized by his tall stature and distinctive white Stetson hat which always drew compliments.
George is survived by a daughter, Joanne Yankovich of Leadville, CO; a son, James Peter Yankovich (Paula) of Summerville; one godson, Alexander Redick of Summerville; two goddaughters, Hannah Gregorie of Summerville and Neonella Gimranova of Uzbekistan; several nieces and nephews and many devoted friends in the Charleston area including Father Anastasy Yatrelis, Svetlana Redick, Nancy Gimenez and others.
The Yankovich family wishes to give special thanks to the staff of Hallmark HealthCare Center in Summerville as well as Drs. Mark Meiler, William Sheldon, Mark Little and Luther Yon in the Charleston area for their attentive, caring support.  The faithful assistance of his godson Alex through George’s final years will never be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be sent to the Russian Orthodox Church in Summerville. Its mailing address is 123 West Richardson Avenue, Summerville, SC 29483-6021.
Arrangements were made by PARKS FUNERAL HOME, 130 West 1st North Street, Summerville, SC 29483.

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