Matko Brajkovich peacefully passed away in his Dearborn residence on November 20, 2021, with his family around him. Born December 2, 1930, in the picturesque city of Rovinj, Croatia, on the beautiful coast of the Adriatic Sea across from historic Venice, he was the son of Ivan and Maria (nee Ribarich) Brajkovic. Growing up on their large, impressive farm near the sea, young Matko became quite an outdoorsman, and was noted for his swimming ability. The family specialized in producing honey, wine and cheese; Matko attended Porech Agricultural College to further his education in farming.
Because of life’s political turmoils, Matko and his friends fled the country in 1950 in search of freedom and personal opportunity. Being on the rowing team, they started rowing across the Adriatic Sea but met with difficulties when the boat capsized. Fortunately, the US Destroyer 863 rescued them and took them to Italy, where they were placed in a refugee camp in Treste. As fate would have it, he met his future bride there, Arpina Garabedian, who was also in the camp.
The happy couple desired to emigrate to the United States. Arpina was able to secure paperwork to come directly to America. But, Matko had to go to Canada. That didn’t stop them from realizing their wishes. After she arrived in Detroit and he arrived in Windsor, they met on the Ambassador Bridge, where they celebrated their marriage ceremony on the bridge!
As husband and wife, they settled in Detroit, where they became blessed as a family. Matko started working for the J.L. Hudson, Company. The company, recognizing his fine talents and skills, sent him to Ohio to study refrigeration and air-conditioning. Earning his license in that field, Hudson’s placed him in the cooling maintenance department. Mr. Brajkovich excelled in that area and was named the maintenance manager for the entire store. Matko Brajkovich retired as a distinguished gentleman of the J.L.Hudson Company.
His Beloved wife, Arpina Brajkovich; Devoted daughter Zabel (Dr. Ervant) Nishanian; Cherished grandsons Levon and Aram Nishanian; Dear brother Bruno (Zora) Brajkovich; Loving cousin Boghos Mortchikian; And many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
November 26, 2021 Friday 1:30PM in St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, 19300 Ford Road, Dearborn, MI 48128, with visitation starting at 12:30pm.
Interment to follow in Woodmere Cemetery
The family suggests that memorial donations be sent to St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church.
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