Christine Rose (Kimmel) Jovanovich
Aug. 7, 1962 – March 5, 2023
It is with deep sadness that we share the passing of Christine “Chris” Jovanovich. Chris met her diagnosis of multifocal glioblastoma courageously, with unyielding faith, and passed peacefully from this world at her home on Vashon Island, on March 5, 2023, at the age of 60, surrounded by her family.
Chris is preceded in death by her father, Herman “Bing” Kimmel. She is survived by her devoted husband, Tim, and 7 children, Dominic (Spouse Belinda), Andy (Avi), Anton (Marika), Tim (Amanda), Vincent, Joanna, and Louis (Sam), 7 grandchildren, mother Rose Kimmel Buckley, and siblings Brendan, John, and Sally (Mark) along with a loving extended family and countless friends.
Chris grew up in Shoreline, Washington and was deeply involved in the Croatian and Catholic communities from a young age, including singing and performing with the Seattle Junior Tamburitzans. It was amid this lively Croatian community that she met her husband, Tim, and the two of them together cultivated a shared appreciation for their heritage within their children and grandchildren. Weekends were frequently spent enjoying home-cooked palacinke and sarma or learning to dance traditional kolos with friends and extended family at events.
Chris possessed an unsurpassed altruistic drive to help and support those in the community around her and, as such, touched an immense number of lives with her seemingly endless amount of love and compassion. Her achievements are too numerous to list in full but include a professional career as a Certified Nursing Assistant who not only provided empathetic care to her clients, but also facilitated creation of an entire network of home care aids on the island after identifying a need for better resources for our island residents. She also brought to life the Vashon Care Closet, a charitable resource for medical supplies and equipment.
Her other philanthropic endeavors include the creation of Tamburitza masses during the early 1990s that originally raised money for war-affected children in Croatia. This has evolved into the annual Tri Kralja (Three Kings) Mass and dinner at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle, which continues to raise thousands of dollars every year for orphanages in Croatia. Christine also was part of igniting the flame that mobilized community members to fill and send over twenty ship containers full of needed supplies to war-torn Croatia.
Her compassion for others was no more apparent than with her own children and grandchildren. Chris recognized the importance and power in a close-knit family group and took her role as matriarch to heart.
Chris was a dedicated wife and beacon of family values and cultural traditions. She, with her husband Tim, raised seven children and sent them all to Catholic school. Chris taught them about music, dance, culture, and family. She was a fierce advocate for her children and taught self-reliance, love, compassion, selflessness, the Christian way, and how to care for others and give of ourselves. “Grandma Tino,” as she was affectionately known, always remembered the smallest of details and consistently kept the happiness of those around her, her grandchildren especially, centered. She was first to show up, last to leave, and unflinching in her devotion to teach the children about their cultural heritage of not only Croatia but additionally her Irish-Catholic side. Chris exemplified compassion, determination, joy, and fierce loyalty.
Chris’ passing is a great loss to her family, friends, and community. She will be deeply missed, and her legacy of love, kindness, and service, will live on in the many lives she touched.
There will be a Vigil Rosary at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16 at St. John Vianney Catholic Church on Vashon Island. The Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 17, also at St. John Vianney.