My Grandfather, Nicholas Anthony Buzolich Sr., passed away last Tuesday at his home in Irvine, California. My Dad said, “His big heart finally gave out on his big body.” He was born 3 October 1918.
When I’d ask him where his parents were from, he first said Yugoslavia, then more specifically an island off the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Now when I think about it, the country his parents left to come to America from what was then part of Austria, and he came before and lived longer than Yugoslavia.
I’ll never forget we he took me fishing, long before I learned the value of quiet reflection. On my fifth or sixth birthday, he showed up having shaved his beard…I didn’t recognize him.
I remember building a glider airplane and him laughing at how I’d pick up the glue. He taught me how to walk up a steep hill with my feet turned perpendicular to the slope so I could clean the spiders out of the sprinkler heads in their backyard.
At 6’6″ tall, he towered over the basketball players of his generation. When I passed my Dad’s 6’2″ height, we would joke that height obviously skips generations.
Sara asked my Grandmother on Sunday where they went on their honeymoon. She replied, “The Northeast.” My Grandfather was on the professional tennis tour which took them around New York and New England after their wedding.
He will arrive in Heaven sailing a Sunfish, probably the one he built himself.
From the Orange County Register:
Nicholas Buzolich, 84, of Irvine, a high school teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, died Feb. 25, 2003, of natural causes.
Nick on the Web:
* All-America Basketball at Pepperdine: 1944, 1946
* All-America Tennis at Pepperdine: 1945, 1946
* Athletics Hall of Fame at Pepperdine: inducted 1980
* Plaque on the San Pedro, CA SportsWalk for Basketball and Tennis
* Highest Scoring Average in 1944 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Scoring 22.5 ppg (45 of Pepperdine’s 85 total points.)
* Member of Harbor Soaring Society where you can find Nick’s Views