Mr Branko Marusic

Mr Branko Marusic

18.04.1936 - 19.02.2019

Branko Marusic was a strong dedicated Croatian man, who provided for his family both in the UK and South Africa and his wider spiritual family through his strong faith in God. He had great entrepreneurial spirit and was always quick to support those in difficulty through his faith and charity work. He will be sorely missed by his wife Cheril and children, Julia, Darryl and Michelle.

Julia

19.02.2024

Dear dad, can’t believe it is 5 years since we said goodbye to you. Thinking of you always xxx

Darryl

18.04.2023

Happy Birthday Dad, never far from our thoughts, and always in our hearts.

Julia

18.04.2023

Happy Birthday dad! We went to a fitting tribute for you last night …. into today! The fantastic band FOCUS! You would have loved it, off the wall, yodelling, flute playing and amaizing musicianship! We were thinking of you and George together booping away xxx

Julia Marusic

19.02.2023

Dear dad - we got you some flowers today, fitting with the South African Protea in there especially for you on this day. Lots of love from us all xxxxxxxxx

Julia

19.06.2022

Sundowner for Fathers Day!

Julia

19.06.2022

Under the pear tree…

Julia Marusic

19.06.2022

Dear Dad, Happy Fathers Day! Here is a toast sundowner to you! Also to share some pics of your sculpture which has found a nice home under the pear tree. Looks great there.
Lots of Love all of us kidos! XXXX

Darryl Marusic

19.04.2022

So nice to spend Dads birthday with the family, any excuse for a bbq is one of the many things I learnt from Dad. Happy Birthday Boss xx

Julia Marusic

18.04.2022

BBQ Boss!

Julia Marusic

18.04.2022

Happy Birthday Dad! Would be your 86th today!! We celebrated in style for you today. We had BBQ Boss here to continue on the family tradition! Weather perfect for it too. I think you were looking down approvingly! Lots of love, all of us! xxxxx

Paul Williamson

07.03.2022

Hello, I was just going through an old diary, and I came across Branco's name, and on impulse typed his name in Google, and found his sad death.
I worked for him for a short time at Excel in Slough, and have nothing but good memories of him.
When the business was in trouble,and about to close, he thought of me and got me a job at Crosfield Electronics, so I had a job to care for my family.
So sad to hear of his death, I'm sure you all have fond memories of him.
Best wishes.
Paul Williamson

Julia Marusic

19.02.2022

Dear dad, can’t believe it is 3 years since we said goodbye! Still surreal. I could have done with you today, getting a very heavy table down from the loft! …… but you were there channeling some awesome strength through the worst storm since 87! We are renaming it Storm Dada! We hear you!
Sundaaawners all round. Cheers from all of us Marusic family. XXXXX

Julia Marusic

20.06.2021

Happy Fathers Day Dad!
Thinking of you today…..
I know you will be happy with the well timed news that the house is now finally Marusic owned again, equity mortgage free and secure, everyone has their share as per your last wishes. We have some lovely celebration flowers care of Mich, and celebration cards. Pic below!
10 out of 10 - ‘pats on their backs’!
Lots of love - all of us Mama, & the beeebs!!

Julia

18.04.2021

Happy 85th Birthday Dad!
We all toasted you with Sundowners today!
Lots of love, your family xxxxx

Julia marusic

18.04.2021

Happy Birthday Dad!!
We are still in lockdown, but we had a family zoom call and a toast with your fave - a Sundowner!
Earlier coffee on the beach with your fave sailing mugs too! Admiral & Gally Slave!
Thinking of you especially today!!
Julia xxxx

Julia

19.02.2021

Dear Dad, it has been 2 years today since we said goodbye. We went for a walk today to one of your favourite places nearby. Up on the beach from Medmerry (where our chalet holiday home was), attached are some pictures, looking across to sea and up to you in the clouds....
This last year has been soo awful for many, Covid has gripped the world, you would have hated it, I’m not sure you would have survived it either. You are definitely in a better place.
We are thinking of you down here on the coast, and having a sundowner toast!!
Julia, Michelle & Cheril (mum).
Xx

Julia Marusic

18.04.2020

Happy Birthday Dad! We are celebrating and thinking of you today on your 84th bday! Mum is making Sarme, and a cake for you. The sun is just trying to pop out from behind the clouds down at the beach, as you can see in the pic. I imagine you up there, enjoying with a sun downer! Xx

Julia Marusic

19.02.2020

River Dart ....

Julia Marusic

19.02.2020

Dad, one of your favourite places in the UK is Dartmouth, and your boat ‘Little Start’ was moored on the River Dart. So we took some of you there, to be with the river, and then out to sea.....

Thinking of you today, and all the places you might be. Xx

Julia Marusic

19.02.2020

Your ‘Box’ Hedge.... in between the Marusic family graves....

Julia Marusic

19.02.2020

Marusic grave in OMIS.....

Julia Marusic

19.02.2020

Marusic family grave in OMIS....

Julia Marusic

19.02.2020

We also went to the Marusic family grave, up on the hillside overlooking the sea. Where your famous uncle Andelco Marusic rests. The famous Croatian football player who now has a stadium in OMIS named after him. It was fitting to leave some of you there in the ‘Box’ hedge in between two Marusic family graves. After all Box hedge happens to be your favourite, as you told Michelle. You can now grow with the hedge and with its smell that you love....

Julia Marusic

19.02.2020

Your river.....

Julia Marusic

19.02.2020

Some of you, to the wind and sea via the beautiful River that runs through OMIS..
Here is one of your resting places.....

Julia Marusic

19.02.2020

Dad, it’s been a year, since we said goodbye. Since you went on to a better place. Meanwhile we have taken some of you with us, far afield, back to your hometown OMIS in Croatia. Some of you back to the earth and some of you to the sea ....

Here is OMIS, your beautiful birthplace.

Cheril, Julia, Darryl, Sharon & Michelle x

19.04.2019

Cracking the Bletchley code listening device at 80th birthday surprise x

Cheril, Julia, Darryl, Sharon & Michelle x

19.04.2019

Birthday afternoon tea x

Cheril, Julia, Darryl, Sharon & Michelle x

19.04.2019

Birthday croquet x

Cheril, Julia, Darryl, Sharon & Michelle x

19.04.2019

Enjoying a birthday meal x

Cheril, Julia, Darryl, Sharon & Michelle x

19.04.2019

Happy birthday Dad! We’re thinking of you and celebrating at Prezzo for you today (18th Apr). We wanted to post some lovely memories of your surprise 80th birthday weekend away including the trip to Bletchley Park x

Duncan

20.03.2019

Uncle Branko,

I will miss your positive views on everybody! You always saw the best in people (especially us your family).

I appreciated your guidance and support with life whenever we met at family occasions. A true gentleman!

Love Duncan, Marianne, Marcus and Zara

Julia Marusic

08.03.2019

Dad, you were always there to catch me..... Even when I was falling with style! Your legacy will live on, forever, through us all. Will miss you more than you know. Julia xxxx

Michelle Marusic

04.03.2019

Dear dear gooorgeous dad

I will miss him so much and his extensive list of catch-phrases, nicknames and ditties. I keep receiving comfort from him in little ways and I know he’s still here with me. Especially through music – ‘O mio babbino caro’ (oh my dear daddy), weirdly putting itself on constant repeat and when wikipedia-ing the beautiful ‘Speigel im Speigel’ piece, finding out it’s written in the tintinnabular style, which turned my tears to laughter because of his love for the ‘rin-tin-tin’ full of biscuits for which he constantly asked.

Always one to speak his mind, embodying the phrase ‘no filter’ before that was even a phrase. I always felt a little trepidation when he would say he wanted to tell me something as it could range from a lovely compliment to a well-intended insult. He asked earlier this year if I had any new year’s resolutions and I said to tidy and organise my flat and he said, ‘hmm, and maybe to do some exercise?’

One of my favourite stories about Dad was one Mum told me a few years ago, which was touched on in the eulogy. Early in his career, he was overpaid for a printing job and in his typical honest nature, contacted the company to refund them. They were really impressed with this and the quality of his work. Fast forward 20 years...Dad had been through some tough times: he had lost his own business due to ill health and having been duped by various people due to his trusting nature. Little did he know, that that company he had refunded all those years earlier, had been trying to find him as they remembered the honest hard-working man. They then offered him a job, which he continued until retirement.

I also wanted to say thanks for all the cards, flowers, messages and huge attendance at his memorial service which have really helped us and made me even more proud to be his daughter.

I will miss his humour, advice, support but know he’s still looking out for me, his Meesha Mikaila pompichetta bomba, little article, ladette, etc xx

Julia, Darryl & Michelle Marusic (kids)

03.03.2019

Branko’s Eulogy:

Branko was an inspiration. This will become more apparent as you hear the synopsis of his life. His purpose was to provide for people, often in an understated way, not just his immediate family in the UK but also his Croatian family in South Africa. This later extended to his spiritual family through god and his consistent support of charities around the world, his favourite being ROPE (Relief For Oppressed People Everywhere). He was always there for those struggling the most, who he often felt an affinity towards. He was selfless, strong, hard working, always straight talking and had a quirky sense of humour.

Branko was born 82 years ago in Omis, Croatia, 1st of 4 children. Due to his family’s political beliefs they had to flee the country from the encroaching Nazis when he was only 7 years old. His family spent the next 4 years in a refugee camp in Egypt. In these harsh conditions, the Marusic family were well known for helping others worse off than themselves, a quality that Branko continued for the rest of his life.

After the war the family could have settled in the UK, but they chose South Africa, where there was already a strong Yugoslav community and better weather! He had to work hard in school to learn 2 new languages, Afrikaanse and English. His passion was football, and he played for the Yugoslavian Team, in South Africa. He started an apprenticeship in printing, something he would return to later on. At 27 he felt conflict, and wanted to learn more about the aesthetics of life, so enrolled at Cape Town University to study the Arts. He met Cheril, on Cape Town beach. His chat up line was ‘can you read the number on that sailing boat out at sea?’, of course she couldn’t and this started the courtship that would change his life forever and bring him to England 20 years after his first opportunity to do so. When he arrived in the UK as an engaged man, it was only a week before his wedding, with little money and no job which must have been daunting, especially as his fiancés parents were the Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom!

Branko worked tirelessly to build a life for his family, even taking in his mother in law for the rest of her life, such was his compassionate nature. At first he had to sell encyclopaedias to make ends meet, a step down from printing and a university degree. Not accepting defeat, he decided to start up his own company “Excel Lithographics”, a successful printing business built from scratch. He invested in a ground breaking new computerised printing system– the first in the world, putting him ahead of the competition.

Success meant a beautiful 3 story house in Gerrards Cross, with a Jaguar and a Rolls Royce. However, working all hours with the stress of running a business culminated in a serious heart attack at 48, his heart having stopped for two minutes. He saw a bright light and felt a feeling of absolute peace – it was at this point that be became a Born Again Christian, and he was told by God that his family needed him. When he awoke in hospital he found a Gideon’s bible, which he opened at 2 Timothy 2, verses 1 – 12a, you will hear this in the reading shortly. This inspired him to join the Gideons and become an active member for the rest of his life, which has now been a duration of 25 years!

Following his heart attack he lost his business and his house. Meanwhile a previous customer who remembered his honesty and trustworthiness from years before, offered him a permanent managers job that would continue, until he retired down here by the sea.

His passion was boats, even building his own sailing dingy from a kit in his garage. He progressed onto a Club Lazor for his races at the Taplow Sailing Club. He ended up in retirement owning his pride and joy Little Star moored in Dartmouth, where he would spend many hours tinkering and installing the latest gadget, and enjoyed more time motoring up and down the River Dart than actually sailing it!

Despite jogging on the beach at 80, not long after in late 2016 Branko sadly had a massive stroke. Despite this he carried on fighting, managed to regain his speech and was able to one handedly feed himself – especially biscuits - earning him the nickname “Biscuit B” in his nursing home.

Branko struggled through the next two years, but we take comfort in the fact that it meant more quality time with him. His straight talking fierce sense of humour continued unabated – in fact his stroke improved it, and his half smile could light up any room.

For the film rights of ‘Life of Branko’, please see the Marusic family…

Darryl Marusic

01.03.2019

Dad. Boss. He was the best dad anyone could wish for and I will miss him immensely. He was always there for me every step of the way with a word (or more) of support and encouragement. The last few days have of course been tough but there has also been a lot of laughter as we've remembered fun times with family and friends.
So many barbeques, any break in the clouds he'd be out there stoking it up, "charcoal is good for you my boy". The only person I know that would not only buy one vacuum cleaner from a door to door salesman, but two, such was his trusting nature and empathy for his fellow man, he had been that salesman once. Thankyou so much for all your messages and cards, reading all these I feel an overwhelming sense of pride just to be his son.

Adrian Webb

26.02.2019

A good life well lived.
You will be missed, not just by your immediate family, but the rest of us as well

Julia Marusic

26.02.2019

The B in Barbecue stands for Branko :)
(a lamb on a spit in South Africa)

Julia Marusic

26.02.2019

Branko and Liz (Branko's sister)

Julia Marusic

26.02.2019

Liz and Jules last visit to the UK (Branko's sister and brother-in-law)

Julia Marusic

26.02.2019

Branko and Jules sharing a joke (Jules - Branko's sister Liz' husband)

Mark De Backer

26.02.2019

My beloved brother and loving uncle Branko,
We thank God for having blessed us with you in our lives. Branko to us was an inspiration and a true example of a genuine Christian.
Liz:
I last spoke to him a few days before he passed on. He had just returned from a stint in hospital. This was the first time that he said that he was in pain in his stomach, to me. I asked whether he was eating and he replied that the food was good and that they fed him, and that he will soon be on the mend. Ever the optimist.
I asked Jesus to eliminate his pain, which He did - permanently and took him home. I told Mark, my son, that this was my prayer for Jules, my late husband, who in his last days was also in pain and Jesus took him home too. Upon which Mark replied "Mom, I'm fine, I'm not sick, don't pray for me". I can see Branko and Jules having a chuckle too.
Yes, there was a lot of banter, humour and 'bon homie' when we were together. Alas, with so many miles seperating us it was not that frequent. Thank goodness for the telephone and over the past 2 years Cheryl and Julia saw to it that they often phoned me when they visited Branko. I so appreciate this contact with him and am sure he appreciated it too. Thank you Cheryl and Julia.
Branko was a very gifted artist. I am fortunate to have one of his waterpaintings of a reproduction of a great Netherlands artist. I know that there is a smaller verison in his home.
Branko and Jules were in school at Marist Brothers in the same class. They attended an art class where they had to produce a painting which was to be displayed in the class to be judged. Jules didn't finish his in time so Branko gave him one of his . Branko won first prize and Jules came second (both Branko's). Jules in his retirement took up painting as a hobby. After visiting in Chichester in 2009 we were taken to the catherdral and Jules decided to paint the church on our return which he did. He duly sent it off to Branko, who I believe had it framed and mounted on a wall in his home.
Branko loved and lived for his family and that is why he was and is still loved by all.
Until we meet again, rest in peace.
ZBOGOM DRAGI BRATE! (Go with God my dearest brother)
Your ever loving sister Elizabeth

Mark:
My earliest memory of Branko was at his and Cheryl's engagement party held at Nono and Nona's home in Mons Road, Observatory, Johannesburg. I was an impressionable young lad of about 5 and was taken in my this noble looking man and his beautiful lady. Champagne was uncorked and he tasked me to collect all the corks. He engaged me from the outset and had time to share even on his and Cheryl's great ocassion. Oh, did I mention that he was my godfather (smile).
I always looked forward to his and Cheryl's visits back to South Africa and always enjoyed his encouragement and family banter. His continual prayers, with others, and dedication to family and friends I believe in no small way paved the way to me finding my faith and pursuing a life after Jesus.
There were many visits back to South Africa after he bought his 'little piece of Africa' and I fondly remember visiting and seeing him sunburnt bright pink on the ride-on mower cutting the grass with a smile on his face and looking so at peace.
We were fortunate enough to see Branko on his last visit to South Africa when he met Lea my fiance and now wife. Lea remembers you for your gentle and loving mannerisms.
His generous heart and love for family continue to inspire me.
Branko I praise Father God for your life and its impact on me. Raise up a Hallelujah to the King of kings.
Your loving nephew Mark and Lea

Lorraine

25.02.2019

Dear Michelle, thinking of you and your family at this difficult time and would love to support this charity for such good cause, lots of love Colleen, Nicole, Jinn and Lorraine xxx

Lesley Trueman

24.02.2019

A family get together. We were glad that we were able to do this because of Uncle Branko.

Lesley Trueman

24.02.2019

Classic close family event.

Lesley Trueman

24.02.2019

The 50th wedding anniversary. Quite a party

Lesley Trueman

24.02.2019

50 years on since I was a bridesmaid

Elizabeth Townsend

24.02.2019

Branko loved a barbecue. A summer visit wasn't complete until we'd had at least one barbecue out in the garden (ably assisted by Cheril in the kitchen)! I always got the feeling these were a little bit impromptu, but then with the British weather the way it is I suppose they had to be! :)

Kitty (Katherine Joyce – neé Marusich)

23.02.2019

In Memory of my Uncle, Branko Marušić

Way back in 2006, I was fortunate enough to be led by ‘Branko the Tour Guide’ around the English countryside. Typically, Branko planned my visit way before my aeroplane landed! He went out of his way to take me to Stonehenge, which was on my wish list, but he also showed me quintessential England – eating pub lunches, visiting ancient Roman ruins, watching jousting at Arundel Castle, sailing in Dartmouth, walking the pebble beaches, admiring spectacular sea views – interspersed, of course, with viewing many heritage sites. Branko was a one-man Automobile Association-style route planner, with Cheril at his side.

As much as Branko enjoyed England and its National Heritage Collection, I do believe a chunk of his heart stayed in South Africa.

I remember him ostensibly teaching my family to catch trout when we were small children. In hindsight, I do not think bashing a fish on the head with a club is best form, but it worked! He made sure we children were always trying something new and looking at the world with a sense of wonder.

We went to see wildlife on a number of occasions. Even in the most trying of times – sweltering heat, getting stuck in the veld with no help for miles around, hours of driving without seeing any animals – Branko remained upbeat about every sighting and every experience in the outdoors.

In addition to hiking, I do believe my uncle’s favourite pastime must have been lamb on a spit – hours of painstaking preparation, basting and braaiing (i.e. barbecuing). I am positive that at no time did he visit us without at least one spit braai on the itinerary. Of course, I won’t mention the bottles of red wine and good-natured family banter that went with a day spent outside in the African sun.

My Grandfather, Branko and my Dad all had similar mannerisms. In my mind’s eye I can see each one of them flicking crumbs off the tablecloth after a meal, away from his place setting, as if it wasn’t his mess. Each one calling for more refreshments, despite knowing that his guests could not fit in another morsel. Each one making the most of every opportunity to spend his time with family and friends.

No stranger was safe from Branko either – he would strike up conversations in the unlikeliest circumstances. Also, don’t think it stopped there; he made a point of visiting acquaintances when next he was in town whether they were ready for him or not!

Branko gave of himself – for that I am humbled and grateful. R.I.P.

Rachel Rumkee

23.02.2019

I can never hear the song 'Michelle' by the Beatles without thinking of Branko. He used to sing the song to his younger daughter; my memory is that it was at the evening meal sitting at the huge dining table at Treetops when we were all quite young. I'm not sure that she appreciated it at the time, but it's meant that I'll always remember him now whenever I hear the song.

Elizabeth Townsend

23.02.2019

Branko and Cheril at Gloria's 80th.

Elizabeth Townsend

22.02.2019

He always used to call me "Little Cuz", even when I wasn't little anymore.

Elizabeth x

Lesley Trueman

22.02.2019

Just about remember this. Our introduction to Uncle Branko as a member of the family. It was great to share the 50th golden anniversary.


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