Mrs. Ann Stajcar-Simonich passed away on Thursday at The Springs at Butte. Ann was born on July 14, 1923, to John and Mary Miljavac, in a small village near Karlovac, in Croatia. She and her mother came to Butte in October of 1929 to join her father, who had come to Butte in 1923.
Ann was a graduate of Sacred Heart School and Butte Business College. During her working years, she was employed by Metals Bank, the old Silver Bow General Hospital, and later by Hannifin’s Jewelry.
On August 5, 1942, she and Joe Simonich were married in Sacred Heart Catholic Church by Father William Joyce. Joe and Ann had three children, Jim, Merry Jo, and John. All three attended St Ann’s School, where Ann became active in school and parish activities. She was president of the Home School Program and was a den mother and a Girls Scout leader for both Brownies and Girl Scouts. In later years, she volunteered for the St. James Hospital Auxiliary, the photography department at the Mining Museum, Butte archives, and Our Lady of the Rockies. She and Pat Lee organized the auxiliary for Our Lady of the Rockies, for which she served as president for one year. She loved the outdoors fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. She also like photography, where outdoor scenes and wild flowers were her favorite subjects (next to her grandchildren).
Ann collected recipes for the Yugoslavian section of the Butte Heritage Cookbook, researched families for the St. Ann’s Parish Memory Book, and researched and wrote the Butte Croatian-Slovenian Americans book. She also organized the Yugoslavian Heritage Dinner, which was held in the Butte Civic Center in 1975, with 1200 in attendance. She was also an avid knitter, making everything from baby booties to coats.
Ann was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; her son, John; her brother, John Stajcar; her parents, John and Mary Stajcar; an infant brother; her young sister, Mary; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Joe and Steffie Simonich; sister-in-law, Louise Casagranda and husband, Earl Casagranda; and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Slovenia and Croatia. Ann is survived by her daughter, Merry Jo (Rick) Smith and son, Jim (Connie) Simonich; grandchildren, Renzy (Betsy) Smith, Ashley Smith, Courtney (Travis) Gaved, Mandy (Rob) Buckingham, Bob Simonich, and Karen LaSeur; and great-grandchildren, Evy and Jory Smith, Zander, Keegan, Bode, and Decker Wold and Walter John Gaved. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Tina Stajcar; and Stajcar nieces and nephews, Pam (Rusty) Olson, Jocko (Erin), Mike (Mary Beth), Dan, Susie (Ron) Kenison, Tom, Missy (Hal) Hoagland, Steve, and Mark (Annette). Ann is also survived by her sister, Millie Shott; nieces and nephews, Julia Sobonja, Chris, Dean, and Michael (Debbie) Shott, Nancy (Mark) Bossard, Gary (Kathy) Casagranda, and Joe (Lynette) Casagranda. Ann is also survived by 25 great-nieces and nephews; and great-great-nieces and nephews; as well as Ann and Jim Roberts; cousins in Croatia and Slovenia; and special friends, Anita, Ann, Debbie, Jean, Shelly, Paula and Mark.
Special thanks to Hospice Senior Solutions, the staff at the Springs, Deacon Dan McGrath, and Father Haffey.
Memorials can be made to Butte Central, Our Lady of the Rockies, St. Ann’s Catholic Church, or the donor’s choice.
Oh, for so short a while you have loaned us to each other because we take form in your act of drawing us, and we take life in your painting us, and we breathe in your singing us but only for so short a while, have you loaned us to each other. (Ancient Aztec Indian prayer)
Private services will be held for Ann with a celebration of her life to be held in the summer of 2021.
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.