Friday, September 20, 2013


Aleksandra's Note: The following tribute was written by the beloved husband of Stella Stavroula Jatras whom we lost on June 15 of this year, 2013. Not only is this a beautifully written tribute by Colonel George Jatras, U.S.A.F. (Retired), but it speaks perfectly to Stella's legacy.

Stella Jatras, "Sparta13", was a star. She was a patriot. She was dedicated and relentless. And she was a friend to many, including me.

I forget sometimes that she died. She remains on my "contact list" for the e-mail updates I send out, and I've not removed her yet. Thus, she still gets my postings, though she can no longer respond.

I like the fact that she remains alive in our hearts. That's how it should be.

Thank you to Colonel George Jatras, her husband of 60 years, for this moving tribute. In honor of what would have been her 82nd birthday on September 18, he reminds us why Stella mattered.


Aleksandra Rebic


Stella Jatras
Serbian National Defense Vidovdan Celebration June 28, 2009
New Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery, Third Lake, IL U.S.A.
Photo by Aleksandra Rebic
Colonel George Jatras (USAF Ret.) and Stella Jatras
Serbian National Defense Vidovdan Celebration
New Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery
Third Lake, IL June 28, 2009.
Photo by Aleksandra Rebic

On Wednesday, September 18, 2013, which would have been her eighty-second birthday, I went to the cemetery to lay a bouquet of roses on the grave of my beloved Stella. As I approached the gravesite I saw a beautiful wreath of laurel and  rosemary, which I understand to be a traditional symbol of eternal memory and glory.  On the wreath was a note which read:
To our Stella with gratitude
Embassy of the Republic of Serbia
Washington D.C.
If the note had read “To Stella with gratitude” it would have been a much appreciated tribute to a valiant lady.  But, “To our Stella” conveys a more powerful and personal meaning. That one added word expressed the bond between Stella and the Serbian people; it showed an understanding of the passion and determination with which she fought for justice for her Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters. Sparta13 was truly a Spartan warrior. Just as she tried to make a difference, that one added word made a difference which will be cherished by her family.
There is no way I can adequately express my deep appreciation to H.E. Ambassador Vladimir Petrovic for this act of kindness in recognition of Stella’s efforts on behalf of the Serbian people. Speaking for the entire Jatras family, I also thank Milan Varadinovic, who represented the Republic of Serbia at Stella’s funeral, for personally coming from Washington to lay the wreath. In a message to our son Jim, Milan stated that he brought his family with him because “It is very important to teach new generations honor in order to preserve hope for the better future.”
My thanks, too, to those whom I have yet to formally thank for the cards, e-mails, flowers and donations to Holy Trinity Cathedral and the Wounded Warrior Project in memory of Stella. The outpouring of love and friendship has been overwhelming.
+ May her memory be eternal +

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at

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