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Respected table grape grower, Andrew V. Zaninovich dies at 91

Andrew V. Zaninovich, beloved father, husband, grandfather, brother and friend, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday June 1, in La Cañada, CA, surrounded by his family. Mr. Zaninovich, known as Uncle Andy by many nieces, nephews and extended family, was born to Vincent B. Zaninovich and Bonica Tomicic Zaninovich of Cutler, CA in 1926, one of four siblings with his brothers John and Antone and sister Mary.

Mr. Zaninovich was a respected table grape grower, and lived in Delano, CA most of his life. After graduating from Delano High School in 1945, he served his country in the Army during WWII in the Philippines. Zaninovich loved the Philippines and regaled his family with wartime stories always ending in how grateful he was to have made it back.zaninovich-webAndrew V. Zaninovich

Upon his return home, he focused on the family business and doing what he loved most: cultivating Vincent B. Zaninovich & Sons into one of the most respected table grape companies in the United States and the world.

In 1964 he met Stella Lamat at a social at St. Anthony’s Croatian Catholic Church in Los Angeles. They were married shortly thereafter and have spent 54 love-and-faith-filled years together.

Mr. Zaninovich not only passed on his knowledge and love of grape growing to generations after him, he passed on his love of life and his zest for travel. He avidly sought to learn about different growing techniques wherever he went in California, New Zealand, South Africa and France. The colleagues he befriended wherever he traveled enriched his family’s life.

His thoughtful wisdom, quick smile and gift for cultivating the best in everything and everyone will be sorely missed.

Mr. Zaninovich is survived by his wife Stella, daughter Andrea and son-in-law Geoff Bland and their daughters, Marie Estelle and Audrey Frances, and numerous nieces and nephews, whether by family or affection.

He is predeceased by his daughter, Maria Zaninovich, parents, brothers John and Antone Zaninovich and sister Mary Z. Bruszewski.

A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday June 14 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary of the Miraculous Medal Church, 916 Lexington Street in Delano, CA. Rosary and Visitation on Wednesday, June 13 from 5-6 p.m. also at St. Mary’s. In lieu of flowers, donations will be graciously accepted by L.A. GOAL, (www.lagoal.org/donate), 4911 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230, or the Memorial fund for the maintenance and improvement of the Roman Catholic Church in the village of Velo Grablje in Hvar, Croatia; checks may be made to Stella Zaninovich and sent to P.O. Box 249 Delano CA 93216. They will be collected and sent to Croatia.