John Matt Vekich, 85, of Duluth passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 12, 2019. He was born on December 30, 1933 to Matt and Kristine (Skull) in Duluth, MN. After graduating from Denfeld High School, John went on to obtain a Degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota Duluth. While attending the University, John started working at the Northern Pacific Railroad as a switchman. In 1956, John volunteered to serve his country and joined the Army where he spent two years between New Mexico and Germany. After the Army, John was fortunate to get his railroad job back but that wasn’t going to be enough to keep him busy. For the next 25 years, John would drive to Stowe school in Gary New Duluth to help educate the elementary kids. Then after briefly stopping at home to grab a quick bite, he would dash off to work the afternoon shift on the railroad where he worked a total of 42 years. Though never marrying, John loved hosting family and friends at his house to share stories and oftentimes to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. Many have enjoyed some of his specialties like potica, soups, garden salads and chocolate cakes. During routine visits by his nieces and nephews, John was always quick to impart his wisdom while ensuring they could clearly separate fact from fiction. Gardening was John’s real love where he spent countless hours in his bountiful vegetable garden mostly by himself-the way he loved it. However John did relish whenever passerby’s would stop to tell him what an impressive garden he had. John was preceded in death by his parents, sister Matilda (McDonnell) and brother Steve. John’s wise counsel and generosity will be greatly missed by family, friends, former students and co-workers. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, October 16 at 11:00 AM at St. James Catholic Church, 721 North 57th. Ave. W, Duluth. In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred made out to the GND (Gary New Duluth) Development Alliance. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, Duluth, 218-727-3555.
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