Dr. Jerry Nick Blaskovich
Dr. Jerry Nick Blaskovich, of Rancho Palos Verdes, died on October 8, 2012 after a short battle with brain cancer. He was born on April 20, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois, to Mateo and Domina Blaskovich, of the island of Hvar in Croatia. A doctor, teacher, scholar, author, patriot, good friend, and above all, family man, Jerry led a life full of vigor and passion. Jerry came to San Pedro as a child and resided in the area for the remainder of his life. He attended San Pedro High School and immediately joined the Navy. A veteran of the Korean War, Jerry served his country honorably as a medic in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1959. He decided to continue in the field of medicine, graduating from the Zagreb University School of Medicine in Croatia in 1966. It was there he met and married his loving wife, Katica. After an internship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Jerry practiced dermatology in San Pedro for 25 years, retiring in 1994. While in private practice, he held a position as an Associate Professor of Dermatology at USC, and was a Diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology. His passion for art inspired him to return to school and obtain a Master's Degree in Art History and Islamic Art and Architecture from UCLA in 1992. He was man of strong faith, active in establishing the Croatian Catholic Family Guild as their first president at Mary Star of the Sea Parish. He was also active in the San Pedro Boys and Girls Club for over 25 years. Jerry did not let retirement slow him down at all. He spent the next several years immersed in the conflict that had erupted in the early 90s in the former Yugoslavia. He became a devoted member of the World Association of Croatian Physicians. During the 1991-1995 war in Croatia, he was deeply involved in the Croatian independence movement. Croatia needed intellectuals-soldiers, and Jerry, among the few of them, became one of the most successful. He went to Croatia on countless humanitarian missions, bringing medical supplies and lending his medical expertise as needed. What Jerry witnessed and experienced in Croatia convinced him that he had to act, and act quickly, to make the world aware of the horrors occurring there. He wrote over 100 op-ed pieces and rebuttals, published in newspapers in the U.S. and internationally, all of which culminated in the publication of Anatomy Of Deceit: An American Physician's First-hand Encounter with the Realities of the War in Croatia and Croatia#8230;Uncensored, two well received books that are still used educationally in the field of Balkan Studies. In 2010, his achievements led him to being knighted into the "Society of the Hrvatski Zmaj." In the last years of his life he traveled extensively around the world and spent much time on the island of Brac in Croatia, a country that he loved. His greatest enjoyment was simply spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, who were the light of his life. He was also a great lover of art, opera and music, enjoying both Wagner and ABBA. While he had a pragmatic personality, he also had a great sense of humor and a laugh that could light up a room. Preceded in death by his brother, Vincent and brother-in-law, Ivo Ursic. Jerry is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Katica; children, Matt, daughters, Dominique, (Antonio), Lori (Zlatko), and grandchildren, Simone, Matea, Frances and Marco. Also survived by sister-in-law Carol; by brother-in-law Pete Ursic, wife Linda; relatives in Croatia, sister-in-law Marija Jaksic; brother-in-law Ante Ursic, wife Lenka; eleven nieces and nephews here and four nieces and nephews in Croatia, several great nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Dr. Blaskovich's name to the American Diabetes Association .