UMD Mourns Passing of Tina Pavle

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) mourns the passing of Tina Pavle, at the age of 92, and expresses its sincere condolences to our Advisory Council member Jim Pavle and the entire Pavle family. Бог да ја прости! Вечнаја Памјат! Memory Eternal!

Below is a eulogy Jim Pavle wrote in his mother’s honor:

My mom, Tina Pavle, passed away peacefully on April 11, 2020, after a brief period of hospitalization and, ultimately, of complications from COVID-19. She was 92. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Norman. Loving mother of Alex (Sue) Pavle, Jim (Nancy) Pavle, and Nick (Marsha) Pavle. 

Grandmother of Craig, Carrie Ann, Michael, Melanie, Liz, Teddy, Kristen, Alexis, Pearce, and Nicky. Great-grandmother of Cory, Collin, Brett, Payton, Abigail, Zoey, Noelle, Noah, Brady, Amaya, Liam, Tyler, Owen, and Ford.

Predeceased by her parents, Stoyan and Vasiliki Rakovitis, whom she helped to emigrate to the U.S. in 1967, and by her brothers, Paul and Peter Rakovitis. 

Tina and Norman first lived in Norm’s village of Kladorabi, Greece (Macedonia region). Norm courted Tina, who was from the nearby village of “Klabochishcha” (Poliplatonos in Greek), riding his bike and over-riding his mother’s concern that this girl was too skinny. They were married and Norm was conscripted into the Greek army in 1947 during that country’s civil war. Alex was born in the kitchen of the home in the village, while Norm was on duty elsewhere in the country. Tina endured the privations in her signature way, with diligence, and without complaint, as she had done as a teenager during the German occupation in WWII when her father was taken prisoner of war.

In June of 1951, with 3-year-old Alex and me on the way and with just a couple of suitcases and no English they made their way to the U.S. in a two-week steamship trip. They stayed briefly in Buffalo, NY, and Detroit. They did enjoy the support and companionship of a large extended family, eventually settling and raising their three sons in Dearborn, Michigan. 

Tina worked at the Howard Ternes Packaging Company her entire career, as the company moved from East Dearborn to West Dearborn and then to Monroe, Michigan. There she honed her English working with other ladies – and never missed a day of work. She was proud of attending night school to become a U.S. citizen in 1956. During limited work vacations, the family visited fellow former villagers and relatives in Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo. A number of Tina’s relatives, whom we visited frequently, lived nearby on Lisbon Street in southwest Detroit. Her uncle, “Dedo Kirko,” owned the famed Tunnel Bar-B-Q in Windsor, Ontario, which her sons visited as kids to enjoy the great spareribs. 

“Baba” to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she was devoted to her family and renowned for her chicken soup, breads, and filo-based specialties. She rose very early, prepared breakfast and lunch bags for Norm and the boys before leaving each day and family dinner after she arrived from a full day of work. She kept a splendid home with her even disposition and loving touches — and no dishwasher. She did it all so that the boys could enjoy their sports and studies. Her sons graduated from Fordson High School and attended Lawrence Institute of Technology, Yale and U Michigan. 

If that wasn’t enough, Tina also was a green thumb level gardener, specializing in peppers (hot and mild), tomatoes and roses. In addition, she was talented at crocheting. She knit booties and baby blankets for all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and, upon request, for family friends. Raised in the Macedonian Orthodox church, Tina was ecumenical, lovingly welcoming her grandchildren and great-grandchildren of all faiths: Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Orthodox.

Funeral service will be private and limited in light of the current pandemic.

A celebration of life will be conducted at an appropriate time later this year. Contributions in her honor can be made to the United Macedonian Diaspora organization.

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