Joseph Rencic

Joseph Rencic

1937 - 2020

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Obituary of Joseph Rencic

Joseph Rencic, 82, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 5, at his home, in Berlin, New Jersey. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Mary, his devoted children Adrienne (Chris Lutcavage), Joseph (Varsha Vimalananda), and Kristina (Dave) Sracic, his grandchildren, Nicholas, Lexy, Satya, John, Mina, and Andrew, his sister Boza Drpic, and his cousins, Marija Justinich, Carole Layden, and Linda Cushing. Joe was born December 4, 1937, to Josip Rencic and Marija Radivoj in Gabonjin, on the island of Krk, in Croatia. He was the youngest of four children. Because his father died when he was 2 years old, his sisters, Ana, Mare, and Boza, first cousin Marija, Aunt Margaret, and grandfather all helped to raise him. He attended school to the sixth grade and followed in his father’s footsteps as a part time blacksmith’s apprentice at the age of 9. He honed his skills as a metal worker in a government factory in Rijeka, a port city in the then communist Yugoslavia. He was assigned all the custom orders for Naval ships, and wrought iron signs for local businesses. Disenchanted with the communist system, he found private work in order to save enough money to leave Yugoslavia. The voyage on the ship to reach his Aunt Margaret and Uncle Sam in the United States lasted two weeks with stops in many port cities throughout Italy. A kind daughter of his Aunt’s friend, Mary Kirincich, helped him navigate his way in this foreign country. Mary helped him get his drivers license without him speaking or reading a word of English. Soon after this, Mary and he began dating and married on St. Peter’s day (Petrova), June 29,1968, the feast day for his village of Gabonjin Joe was so happy to be married on Petrova. A year later Mary gave birth to their daughter Adrienne, and three years after that their son, Joseph. On December 4, 1978, Mary gave Joe his best birthday present, their daughter Kristina. Although his first job in the US was in a factory doing metal work, Joe had a long career as a trim carpenter, a trade he learned once he came to the United States. Over the course of 27 years, Joe had a hand in building thousands of homes in the South Jersey area. Carpentry became his profession, as well as his hobby. He was a perfectionist with a strong work ethic. He perpetually worked on projects in his basement, finishing his last project, an oak dining table for his beach house in October. Even the grandkids would call Joe from the basement imitating their Nona’s cry of “OSIPE!” to get him upstairs. Although Joe was highly skilled in several trades, he had other aspirations for his children. Mary and he provided the gift of a college and graduate education for all three of their children, and encouraged all their grandchildren in their studies. Joe loved his beach house in Sea Isle City, which he designed and built himself. His favorite pastime was long meandering walks on the beach. Over the course of 30 years, Joe, a consummate storyteller, got to know both the year rounders and the summer regulars. No one left the beach without hearing a story (or two or three) from Joe in his often asked about Croatian accent. In the morning he’d bring several cups of coffee, with the help of whatever child or grandchild he could enlist, for his fishermen friends who’d give him some skate, his favorite fish in exchange. He returned to Croatia frequently with the entire family to visit his mother, sisters, nieces, Dragica, Anica, and Marijana and his nephew, Ivica, and to share the Croatian culture with his children and grandchildren. During the summers of 2005 and 2012, Joe finally fulfilled his mother’s wish when he designed and built an addition and added running water in the home of his birth. For over fifty years, Joe purchased grapes to make his one of a kind red and white wine in his basement, using his father in law’s wine press and barrels. He even built his own copper still to make rakija, which his American friends referred to fondly as “white lightning.” He was an avid gardener and passed on his skills to his children and shared the bounty with his friends. For many years, he enjoyed playing Italian card games and bocce at the local Croatian social club on Sundays. After retirement, he particularly enjoyed cooking, especially goulash and fish stew. Mary and Joe had an open door policy and loved spending time with friends and family. Whether it was a glass of Joe’s red wine, garden veggies, or Mary’s crepes, no one ever left the Rencics’ hungry or thirsty. Joe was a faithful man whose life was guided by the tenets of Christianity. Above all, Joe was a devoted husband, father and grandfather doting on his children and his grandchildren, who were his constant pride and joy. Relatives and friends are invited to his viewing on Saturday January 18, 2020 from 10:00AM to 11:30AM at the COSTANTINO-PRIMO FUNERAL HOME, 231 W. WHITE HORSE PIKE, BERLIN, NJ 08009. Mass of Christian Burial 12:00PM at St. Simon Stock Parish Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 178 W. White Horse Pike, Berlin, NJ 08009. Interment Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Berlin, NJ. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Dr., Marlton, NJ 08053 OR St. Simon Stock Parish at the above address would be appreciated. To leave lasting condolences or photos, please use the links on this page.
Saturday
18
January

Viewing

10:00 am - 11:30 am
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Costantino-Primo Funeral Home
231 W. White Horse Pike
Berlin, New Jersey, United States
856-768-0688
Saturday
18
January

Mass of Christian Burial

12:00 pm
Saturday, January 18, 2020
St. Simon Stock Our Lady Of Mt. Carmel Campus
178 White Horse Pike
Berlin, New Jersey, United States
Saturday
18
January

Interment

1:00 pm
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Gate of Heaven Cemetery
300 W. White Horse Pike
Berlin, New Jersey, United States