Anđelka Chorak

Anđelka’s family would like to extend their gratitude to the entire community of Vashon for their outpouring of support during this difficult time.

Our entire community is grieving the loss of Anđelka Chorak who passed away Thursday, March 28, at age 50. She is survived by her mother Kata, her brother Ivan, sister Ana, husband Peter, her son Tony and loving extended family in the United States and Croatia. Though it is with great sorrow that we share this news with our community, we are grateful to have the opportunity to tell Anđelka’s colorful life story, one that in many ways defines the American experience.

Anđelka’s story begins in the tiny village of Cicrina, on the border of Herzegovina and Croatia, where she was born to parents Kata and Ante Skaramuca on July 14, 1973. With her brother Ivan, and sister Ana, she was raised from incredibly humble beginnings, where family, faith, and hard work played a central role in shaping the wonderful woman she grew up to be. She would need her faith and family as the hardships of life came early to Anđelka, with the loss of her father, Ante, when she was seven years old. It was this devastating loss that helped cement the compassion and strength that Anđelka would harness to continue through life with her head held high.

Like many hard working families in the village, her mother, brother, and sister would eventually relocate to Dubrovnik, where Anđelka fully embraced the opportunities of city life. An accomplished student and avid reader, Anđelka not only excelled in school but discovered her talents as an athlete. In her sport of choice, handball, she became the youngest women’s player to join the premier team in Dubrovnik and represent her city throughout the country.

Her athletic career would be brought to an abrupt end in high school when war in Croatia broke out in 1991. Anđelka became a refugee relocating to Italy for six months while her country fought for its independence. Upon her return, she finished high school and began her career as an office administrator, working to gain her own independence as a young woman and rebuild her life in the postwar era. She would soon learn that a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis would present even further challenges in her life to come. Despite her diagnosis at her young age, it is clear that in many ways her battle with MS gave her much gratitude for the simple pleasures in life.

Anđelka’s family describes her as a soulful beam of light, not letting the challenges of the past or uncertainty of the future prevent her from enjoying the moment. She was a social magnet, constantly surrounded by friends, going to the beach, going out and perhaps most importantly; never missing an afternoon Turkish coffee with family or friends.

Family was always central in Anđelka’s life, as she became the favorite auntie of her niece Ivana, who can only describe her as the “best aunt there ever was and ever will be”. She kindled Ivana’s love of reading, buying her first book “Harry Potter”. Anđelka’s love of sports rubbed off as well, always taking family to water polo, basketball, handball, and soccer games.

Her love of sport, the sea, and her beauty caught the eye of Peter Chorak in the winter of 2004, when the two met while Peter was visiting family in Croatia. From the moment they met, they knew their passion to live life to the fullest and their devotion to family would be the foundation for them to start a life together, and they married a year later. Soon to follow would be the birth of their handsome son Tony and a move across the Atlantic to begin a new life in America.

Starting new was something Anđelka had grown accustomed to and she was lucky to be welcomed by her family on Vashon and the community surrounding Sporty’s, the long running family restaurant that her husband owns. It was here she quickly became a fixture of all those who visited the restaurant, most notably children who remember Anđelka as“the candy lady” always seeming to have some available on hand. Just as she did in Croatia, she worked to build a vibrant community around her, always remembering every person’s name with whom she came into contact, finding multiple ways to engage with her community.

Above being an outstanding member of the community, Anđelka was the best mother a young man could ask for. Her love of sport was infectious and she fostered young Tony’s career as an elite water polo athlete, traveling around the world supporting his meteoric rise as one of the country’s top players. Tony was also lucky to be influenced by his mother’s love of reading, becoming an accomplished student. Anđelka’s values of family, faith, and hard work are so evident in Tony. We are blessed to have him as a true reflection of everything wonderful that Anđelka brought to this world.

We will be celebrating Anđelka’s life at St John Vianney church on Saturday, April 20, at 11:00am and welcome the community to join. The services will be followed by a reception at The Vashon Sportsmen’s Club.

Anđelka’s family would like to extend their gratitude to the entire community of Vashon for their outpouring of support during this difficult time. We feel so blessed to call such a loving place our home.