Michael R. Ivanovas, age 81, was born on December 31, 1938 in Lithuania, the beloved son of the late Dimitrius and Janina, nee Stankunas, Ivanovas. Mike passed away November 6, 2020 in Naperville, Illinois. He was the loving brother of Jeanette (Ray) Ruginis and the late Alexander Ivanovas and cherished uncle of Andrew (Dana) Ruginis, Tom (Rachel) Ruginis, Paul (Amy) Ruginis and Rim Ruginis; fond great uncle of Henry, Lucas, Charlie, Oliver, Emma and Elise.
Mike was a caring man who always knew what he wanted and didn’t need much to make him happy. On most days, a can of diet Pepsi, three servings of chinese food, and a TV with basic cable would do the job. His love for others was matched only by his curiosity for the world, especially when it came to history and politics. He had one of the brightest minds any of us have known. On a whim, he could tell you who every single president was in chronological order or the exact date Elvis Presley released his first album. And he never forgot your birthday, which came with a card and a crisp $20 bill, every year, on time.
Often times, a “conversation” with Mike would turn into a long soliloquy about something he had seen on the news that day or, possibly, an old army story. It was common to see him talking to people for several minutes while they just nodded along and listened without having a moment to interject. (You could even step away to take a phone call and still come back to find him talking). But, rest assured, after Mike finished his stories, no matter what was going on in his life, he would always ask about you and your family. He always wanted to know that the people he loved were happy and healthy.
As a man with simple needs, he didn’t complain much. In fact, some of the only times he ever complained was when you tried to convince him that he DID need something more in his life. As an example, for his 80th birthday, our family tried to buy him a nice new HD flat screen to replace his 15 year old rear projection TV that had an antenna sticking out of it. We brought the gift to his house and even set it up for him. Within 5 minutes of flipping through the channels and noticing that his favorite channel 11 was missing, he made us return the TV. We learned something important about Mike that day: he didn’t need a new TV; he just needed channel 11.
And so that summarizes Mike. He was a man who wanted little but gave a lot. And although his time with us has ended and was cut too short, there is no doubt he left an indelible mark in our hearts that will last forever. We love you, Uncle Mike, and we will miss you.
Mike will be buried next to his parents and late brother on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 with a 10:00 am graveside service at St. Casimir Lithuanian Catholic Cemetery, 4401 W. 111th St., Chicago, Illinois. The U.S. Army will provide military honors.
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