Ernest Kovačević

 In Memorials, Obituary Dover NJ

Ernest Kovačević, age 79, passed away on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at St. Clare’s Hospital in Dover, NJ from pneumonia.

Born on May 14, 1944 in Subotica, Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia) he was the son of the late Ernest and Julia Kovačević (Elek). His father and mother were born in Piran, Slovenia and Subotica respectively.

His childhood talents in painting, illustration, building kites and model airplanes, led to bachelor’s degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Economics. His engineering background in combination with his artistic abilities led him to the jewelry industry. Ernest was employed at a manufacturing company and ultimately became the Executive Director where he managed over 200 workers. His greatest accomplishment was the design and manufacturing of memorabilia for two Olympic games. His efforts were recognized by the Olympic Chairman with a “best out of field” achievement award.

Ernest’s talents and work ethic were also on display in athletics. Track and field, swimming, and soccer were his favorites. He played soccer professionally at the highest national tier, spending his time on the pitch with Spartak and Bačka football clubs. As a goaltender and team captain, his toughness and leadership were legendary.

In 1986, Ernest and family moved to New York City for a work opportunity. Once the decision was made to stay in America, the family moved once again to New Jersey and started its own jewelry store named Puffin Jewelry.

The next thirty years of his life were spent running a successful business with his family. As a well-respected member of the community, he received awards from local and state governments. He was a talented jeweler who loved to use his strength in design and relished the challenge of any new project.

Ernest was a warm and welcoming person who spoke four languages fluently. Traveling around the world with his wife produced many memories. He enjoyed hearing about people’s experiences and backgrounds as much as he did sharing his own. A captive audience was never wasted.

His childhood passions remained with him through his entire life. Painting with his grandchildren and listening to Disney records were his favorite pastimes. Building kites was his specialty. He was a true family man who enjoyed life’s most simple pleasures.

The legacy that he leaves behind is a testament to the human spirit. Imagination, determination, hard work, and enjoyment were pieces of the same puzzle. Every day of his life was spent working on it.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 55 years Vukosava Kovačević (Djordjević), their daughter Jelena, son Djordje and wife Kelli (O’Connor), and their grandchildren Carl, Maya and Neven. Private arrangements and online condolences through www.smith-taylor-ruggeriofuneralhome.com.

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