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Obituary: Michael Andrew Gregorovic

Michael Andrew Gregorovic, resident of Farmingdale since 1950, passed away at the age of 89 on September 12, after suffering with leukemia for the past year. He leaves his beloved wife of 65 years, Marge, and 11 children, Nancy Patka (Jim) of Oswego, NY, Linda Marley (Phil) of Killeen, TX, Patti McKeever  (Jeff) of Lansdale, PA, Kathy Claussen (Rick) of Poinciana, FL, Peggy (Andre duPont) of Weston, FL, Eileen (Debbie Mills) of Bethpage, NY,  Michael (Diane) of Hastings, FL, Terre Simpson (David) of Clifton, VA, Mary Graziano (John) of Smithtown, NY, Matt (Dawn) of South Farmingdale, and Karen Rotondo (Danny) of Northport, NY. He is also survived by 29 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.  He was the last of his siblings, predeceased by all 9 of them, including his identical twin brother.  He was also predeceased by his son Mark and grandson Joseph.

Mike was born in 1923 in St. Benedict, PA, to immigrant parents from Austria- Hungary. The family moved in 1930 from that coal-mining town to Brooklyn, NY. There he attended Holy Family School and then Haaren High School in NYC. He left school after 11th grade to help support his family. He got a job with his father at the Brooklyn Cooperage making oak barrels.

Mike served in the Marine Corps from 1943-1945. He was stationed on Roi Isle in the Marshall Islands and fortunately didn’t see much action. He worked as a mechanic on the F4U fighter planes. Upon discharge, he re-ignited his romance with Margaret Kinsella (Marge), whom he had dated before, and they were married  April 19, 1947. He had hernia surgery the next day, and they weren’t able to take their honeymoon vacation until June.  They spent a week at Happy Acres resort in Connecticut and were such a handsome couple that they were photographed for the resort’s advertising brochure.

The newlyweds moved in with Marge’s parents in Astoria and didn’t move out to Farmingdale until they had two children. They put a $10 deposit down on the house and moved in on February 4, 1950. The house cost $6,990, plus $200 for a dormer!

Raising children and working hard to support them was Mike’s life.  He worked as a millwright at the Sperry Defense Plant, Fairchild Republic, and Grumman. Once he was laid off for 16 weeks while Marge was pregnant with their sixth child. Mike did odd jobs and they got by. He retired at age 66, after driving a truck for Harbor Distributors for 20 years. After the kids all moved out, Mike and Marge enjoyed many years of traveling, bowling, golfing,  and later attending  senior citizens and Knights of Columbus meetings.  An avid Yankees fan, even in his last days when his disease caused him to sleep most of the day, he would find the strength to stay awake to watch the evening games on TV.  

Mike was a devout Catholic and attended mass at St. Kilian’s every Sunday until he could no longer walk.