It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that the family of Jovan Jaksic announces his unexpected passing, on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the age of 75 years old. He retired in 1996 after 25 years of selfless service as a Michigan State Trooper, a career in which he loved, was highly recognized and respected. Jovan has several photographs taken with Michigan governors and senators; he received numerous honors and awards, including the esteemed Trooper of the Year award for the state of Michigan. After putting away his badge, Jovan devoted himself to the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Jovan spent years collecting spiritual icons and crosses that are beautifully displayed in his home. He even taught himself to write in Serbian and painstakingly wrote all of his grandchildren’s birthday cards each year in his beautiful Cyrillic script. He especially loved Serbian dances and music played by tamburica orchestras. His wife, Ruzica, often joked, “I’m a born Serbian but sometimes I think you love Serbia more than I do!”

During his time in Michigan, Jovan served weddings, baptisms, and sang in the church choir. He also spent many years serving the church board in both Michigan and Phoenix. In 1999, Jovan worked tirelessly to collect aid on behalf of the people of Serbia during the war.

Jovan met his wife, Ruzica, at the St. Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Church in Detroit in 1996. He was so proud to have met his bride in church that in 1998, they hosted a fully traditional 3-day Serbian wedding (complete with cultural wedding clothing) in which over 700 people lovingly attended. Although they spent much of their lives on separate continents, their relationship seemed as though they had always been together. Jovan and Ruzica are proof that soulmates truly exist.

Jovan will be lovingly remembered and sorely missed by his Wife of 20 years, Ruska and his Children: Jayne (Jeff) Hutton, Jessica (Dan) Sargent, Dragoslava (Sasa) Nedic and Vojislav (Pamela) Tufegdzic. Jovan will also be fondly remembered by all his Grandchildren: Brittni, Irina, Corbin, Addison, Stefan, Morgan, Ashton and his Sisters and Brothers: Joanne, Jeff, James and Julayne. Jovan was predeceased by his loving Mother and Father: John & Germaine Jackson; his Brother, Jerome and his Granddaughter, Courtney.

Funeral Visitation for Jovan will be held on Sunday, May 20, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church 4436 East McKinley Phoenix, AZ 85008. A Funeral Memorial Service in memory of Jovan will be held on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 10:00 a.m., at the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church. Interment will follow the burial at Mountain View Cemetery 7900 East Main Street Mesa, AZ 85207. A luncheon for Jovan’s family and friends will follow all funeral services back at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church. In lieu of flowers the family requests for those who so desire may make memorial donations in memory of Jovan to the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church 4436 East McKinley Phoenix, AZ 85008.

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