Nada Mikalacki passed away on Saturday, March 25, 2016 at age 88 surrounded by her loving family. Nada was born on November 19, 1928 in Basaid, Serbia. She was the eldest child of Aleksandar and Kristina Ilicin, and had a younger brother named Aleksandar. Like many, Nada’s life was made difficult by World War II. In December 1938, her father left Serbia to work in the United States in preparation of bringing his family to America for greater opportunity. With the start of World War II the borders closed, and towards the end of WWII Nada’s mother passed away. Needless to say, nothing went as planned. Still, living only a few homes away from Basaid’s Serbian Orthodox Church, Nada’s grandmother regularly took her to Sunday services to ensure Nada’s belief in the Lord did not dissipate despite the hardships she faced at such a young age. Thereafter, Nada met the town’s hardworking blacksmith, Miodrag, and they were married in Basaid. In June 1951, Nada gave birth to their son, Dragomir.

Though many years had passed, Nada’s father was steadfast on brining his daughter and her family to America. On June 23, 1964, Nada, Miodrag, and Dragomir arrived in Detroit, Michigan to join Nada’s father and brother. There, Nada and Miodrag obtained jobs within days of their arrival. Ever the team player, Nada sought tougher jobs knowing she would receive higher pay. She did just that working at Ford Motor Company where she sewed interiors. In 1974, after Dragomir graduated from Michigan State University, the family ventured to Mesa, Arizona to buy a motel on Main Street. Nada was hesitant. Still, she entrusted Miodrag’s vision and Dragomir’s ability to run the motel for one year while Nada and Miodrag completed their factory jobs in Detroit. Thereafter, Nada and Miodrag joined Dragomir in Mesa. In 1975, Nada and Miodrag gained a daughter-in-law, Slavica. In 1979, Nada was blessed with her first grandchild, granddaughter Snezana. In 1982, she welcomed her second grandchild, granddaughter Gordana. The entire family worked together tirelessly in the motel folding towels, cleaning pool chairs, whatever needed to be done. The motel’s guests loved chatting with Nada and playing shuffleboard with her because she was so warm and friendly. Nada’s granddaughters loved working alongside their grandmother because she exhibited such patience and grace by never losing her cool. They loved their grandmother so much that the girls enjoyed staying the night at Nada and Miodrag’s house where she cooked for the girls, took them on walks and bike rides, and shared with them her love for nature and animals. In 1997, Nada’s family sold their largest motel, which allowed Nada and Miodrag to spend more time together. They traveled to Mexico and took the girls to Maui. In 2014, Nada’s granddaughter Gordana and her husband Dragan welcomed daughter Eva making Nada a great-grandmother. In 2016, Nada became a great-grandmother twice over when Gordana and Dragan welcomed son Luka. Nada leaves behind son Dragomir, daughter-in-law Slavica, granddaughters Snezana and Gordana (Dragan), great-grandchildren Eva and Luka, brother Aleksandar (Shirley), priljatelji Vera and Rade Avramovic, priljatelji Ciro and Rada Rubezic, and countless family, Kumovi, and friends in the United States as well as Serbia.

Visitation will take place at Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church at 4436 East McKinley Street in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday, March 29th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm with a Pomen (memorial) service at 7:00 pm. The funeral service will also be held at Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church on Thursday, March 30th at 10:00 am. Following the funeral service, there will be a procession to the Mountain View Cemetery, 7900 East Main Street in Mesa for a graveside service. A Daca (mercy meal) will follow the graveside service at Saint Sava’s Social Hall. Nada touched so many with her kindness, patience, and grace that she will be missed by those who knew her. May Nada’s memory be eternal.

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