Smilanich, George "Pecky" Age 98, originally of Buhl, MN, passed away on Saturday, August 8, 2020 with his loving family by his side. George was the youngest of seven siblings born to Serbian immigrant parents. He was a great athlete, leading his high school football team to win the 1941 Iron Range Conference title; and winning back-to-back Minnesota State High School Basketball Championships in 1941 & 1942. George was drafted into the army in November 1942 as a tank driver in Patton's 2nd Armored Division. He was in six campaigns in the European Theater including D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. During this time George survived the loss of three tanks. He earned The Bronze Star, The Purple Heart, and the Belgian Fourragére. Before returning home at the end of the war he served as Honor Guard at the Potsdam Conference. George lived his life as a teacher, a coach, and a mentor, in addition to being a great husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, uncle and friend. He was a humble man with a strong presence that led a simple life. Known for his storytelling and a great sense of humor, George never forgot anyone that was part of his life. Preceded in death by wife, Mary; parents, Mane and Yelena; brothers, Mike and Pete; sisters, Sophie, Mary, Rose, Bette; and infant son, Michael. Survived by children Tom (Deb), Susan, Steven; grandchildren Stefan (Tamra), Andrea (Tony) Palma; great-grandchildren Miliana, Vincenzo, Dino, Miesha. Memory eternal. Vjecnaja pamjat. Memorial donations to the Best Defense Visitation will be held Thursday, August 20th, 2020 at THOMSON-DOUGHERTY MANSION, 2535 Park Ave., Mpls., MN, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Interment at FORT SNELLING NATIONAL CEMETERY, 7601 34th Ave. S., Mpls, MN, on Friday, August 21st, at 11:30 a.m. 2020, Meet at Assembly Area #2. To ensure the safety of all attending, the family asks you to follow COVID-19 protocol by wearing masks and social distancing. Historic Thomson-Dougherty 612-871-4407

Published on August 16, 2020

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