OBIT: PETRANOVICH

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ADAM "PETE" PETRANOVICH

1913-2002

A memorial service for Adam "Pete" Petranovich, 88, was at 2 p.m. May 11, 2002, at First United Methodist Church in Douglas with Rev. Rodney N. Saunders and Rev. Bill Moore officiating.

Inurnment was at Douglas Park Cemetery.

Mr. Petranovich husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, coach, mentor, friend, church lay leader and community member died May 5, 2002, at Michael Manor in Douglas after a long, full and dedicated life. He left this life as he lived it, accepting responsibility, exemplifying courage and celebrating the love he felt for his family and community.

Mr. Petranovich was born Dec. 24, 1913, in Kahler, N.M., to Matthew and Emelia (Please) Petranovich. The family moved to Colorado, where he graduated from high school in Oak Creek. He attended Colorado State Teachers College at Greeley and earned a bachelor of science degree in education in 1938.

He returned to Oak Creek, where he taught for five years before moving to Douglas in the fall of 1943.

On Aug. 2, 1941, he married Dorothy Jean Milavec in Oak Creek. He accepted a teaching and coaching position with the Douglas schools and moved into the basement of North Grade School. For the next six decades, he built his life, career, home and community within walking distance.

In 1952 the family moved into a two-story house next to the school, with room enough to raise their family that they spread over 30 years Charla, Mada, Milo, Toni and Cammy.

Mr. Petranovich taught at Douglas High School until 1974 with a focus on American history, civics and sociology. He was an excellent teacher and lecturer, mixing his rock-solid understanding of American history and culture with poetry and music, keeping his students interested, enthused and engaged. He served as faculty adviser for clubs, directed plays and decorated for (and danced at) junior and senior proms.

As much as he enjoyed teaching, he loved coaching. He coached track, basketball and golf at different times, but his passion was football. From 1943 until his retirement as football coach in 1967, he posted a record of 145 wins, 96 losses and three ties, with two district championships, three regional championships and two state runners-up. He was inducted into the Wyoming Coaches Hall of Fame in 1984, one of the founding honorees.

Mr. Petranovich's influence on the youths of Douglas spread beyond classrooms and football fields as he played key roles throughout the community. He ran the Douglas swimming pool when the Lions Club rebuilt it in 1944, and he supervised lifeguards and Red Cross swimming lessons for almost 20 years. In 1956 when the community changed the old high school into a youth center, Mr. Petranovich ran that as well, ordering and fixing roller skates and playing the skating songs five days a week.

The other rock of his life was church involvement. A member of First United Methodist Church for almost 60 years, Mr. Petranovich seldom missed a Sunday service and worked in virtually every area, serving on boards, ushering, singing in the choir and delivering prayers and sermons.

After his official retirement from the school district, Mr. Petranovich took his responsible and practical nature into several part-time activities. His long association with the Moose Club led to running their Bingo nights and playing janitor. He worked with the local funeral home and he continued his long-standing commitment to the American Red Cross by serving as disaster chairman and clock canvasser. He served as bailiff for the Douglas court systems. He was a dedicated and lifelong Democrat, attending most state conventions and running for state representative on two occasions.

Throughout these years, Mr. Petranovich's main hobbies were fishing and gardening. Sons-in-law, family and friends often visited him on the LaBonte and LaPrele creeks, and most summer evenings would find him tending his raspberries or watering his vegetable garden.

He touched and changed many lives by his teaching, coaching and friendship. He did it through action and modeling; he not only coached his football players, but housed them when they needed a place to stay; he not only encouraged the Douglas youths to do their best but drove them to meets and brought them lunch. He inspired many, but he backed his words with practical action, living a life of community and service.

He did all this with his lifelong wife and partner, Dorothy. Together, they delighted their children and their children's families. Together, they worked crossword puzzles and daily jumbles. Together, they called Bingo games and played Pitch. Together they tended yards and delivered extra garden produce. Together, they wove the fabric of a Douglas community by staying involved with friends and associates.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy of Douglas; children Charla Deane and husband Jack Morton of Yuma, Ariz., Mada Jean Morgan of Ashland, Ore., Milo Pete Petranovich and wife Marilyn of Portland, Ore., Toni Lynn and husband Tony Hinton of Eagle River, Alaska, and Cammy Jo and husband Tom Rowley of Casper, Wyo.; 12 grandchildren and their spouses, Aimee and Tom Eck of Canyon, Texas, Jennifer and David Fugatt of Fort Myers, Fla., Jocelyn and Mike Gajewski of San Diego, Calif., Lana Morton of Tucson, Ariz., Kerry and Michael Gaudio of Champaign, Ill., Mindy and Matt Pauley of East Lansing, Mich., Adam Petranovich and Ryan Petranovich of Portland, Ore., Paige Hinton and Julia Hinton of Eagle River, Alaska, and Carson Rowley and Lucas Rowley of Casper, Wyo.; great-grandchildren, Josephine, John and Daniel Eck of Canyon, and several nieces and nephews. And he leaves a legacy of love, honor, and commitment to countless others.

Memorials in Pete's name can be made to the Moose Club Scholarship Fund, Douglas Chapter of the American Red Cross.

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