Samuel A "Sam" Kovacevich

Born: Wed., Aug. 7, 1935
Died: Wed., Jan. 31, 2018


4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Mon., Feb. 05, 2018
Location: Cleveland Rd. Location

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Tue., Feb. 06, 2018
Location: Cleveland Rd. Location

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Music by The Piano Brothers

 Samuel A. Kovacevich

August 7, 1935 - Jan. 31, 2018

GRANGER - Samuel A. “Sam” Kovacevich, 82, passed away on January 31, 2018 following an illness. Sam was born in South Bend on August 7, 1935 to Stella and Savo Kovacevich, who preceded him in death. On March 9, 1957, in Santa Ana, California, he married Carole Ann Hook, who survives, along with his daughter, Deborah (Timothy) Hileman of Parker, Colorado; grandson, Blake (Samantha) Kovacevich of South Bend, and two great-grandsons. His son, Michael Kovacevich preceded him in death. One of eleven siblings, Sam is also survived by a sister, Ruth Dunbar of South Bend, brother, George of South Carolina, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Sam was a graduate of Riley High School and served his country in the United States Navy Reserve. He enjoyed a long career in the auto body repair business, joining Karl Weis Auto Body Shop in 1960, becoming president and co-owner in 1968, and retiring in 2009.

Sam was active in numerous organizations throughout his life. He was a longtime member of the B.P.O. Elks Lodge #235 in South Bend, serving as the Lodge's Exalted Ruler in 1967. Sam bowled on the Elks League for decades and also served as president of the Elks National Bowling Association. Sam was president of the Independent Garage Owners Association, a trade organization in which he was active for many years. He was a member of the Roseland Rotary Club, the Italian-American Heritage Society of Notre Dame/Michiana, and the Masonic Lodge.

Sam was a generous man who was always willing to lend a helping hand to others. He was a gregarious person who could strike up a conversation with almost anyone with his warm smile and outgoing personality. He will be greatly missed by countless family members, friends, and others who were touched by his kind heart and giving spirit. 

Visitation will be from 4 until 8 p.m. Monday, February 5 in the Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Road, South Bend. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 6 in the funeral home. Sam has been cremated in accordance with his wishes. A private interment will take place at a later date. 

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000 Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908. Family and friends may leave email condolences at

Charitable donations may be made in Samuel's memory to the following organization:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
P.O. Box 1000 Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908

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George Molnar
   Posted Sun February 04, 2018
Sam was a good friend at Karl Weiss Body Shop, where I brought my own cars over the years from 1986 thru 2006. I later met him at McGann's Funeral Home when I went there for viewing. This was after I suffered a Stroke. He still treated me as a friend and equal. I shall always remember Sam fondly. R.I.P. Sam Kovacevich.

Bob Dunbar,Sr.
   Posted Sun February 04, 2018
My condolences to SAMs wife and family. Sam was a long time friend. Rest in peace old Buddy.God Bless.

Jeff & Laura Kovacevich Gandy
   Posted Sun February 04, 2018
Uncle Sam was a very special man who will be remembered for his kindness, generosity and caring nature. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Jeff & Laura Kovacevich Gandy

Richard Widmar
   Posted Mon February 05, 2018
With deepest sympathy may love surround you and faith sustain you and your family. I remember all the good times Lois and I had going to Traverse City, South Haven, and Saugatuck Mi. and all the other fun places we went to. I will miss Sam he was a good friend. God will be in for a treat when Sammy gets to Serbian heaven. He will be missed by all especially me.

Carla Sellers
   Posted Mon February 05, 2018
I was so shocked to hear this. Sam had been a friend of our family for as long back as I can remember, from golfing to the Elks, to stopping by family functions. I always got a Christmas card from him - sign Uncle Sam. When he was at Karl Weis - I would stop in if I spotted the car on a Saturday. He was such a sweetheart. I'm including a photo from when he stopped by for my mom's surprise party. He was a fighter, a character and a great friend to the family. He will be greatly missed. My prayers for peace & comfort to the family. He will always be with you. Soar with the angels Uncle Sam.

Ken and Kelly Berger
   Posted Mon February 05, 2018
Prayers for family of this wonderful man

Jon Thompson
   Posted Tue February 06, 2018
Sam helped me out with my cars on a number of occasions, but I remember stopping by the body shop at other times just to visit and share a story or two.

A friendly and generous man who will be missed by many. Comforting thoughts to all in his and in the days ahead.

Sincerely, "JT" (Jon Thompson, WSBT Radio)

Frederick Green
   Posted Thu February 08, 2018
My heartfelt condolences for the loss of your beloved, Samuel. Please know that Jehovah God and his son Jesus Christ is aware of your pain and they care for you. (2 Corinthians 1:3,4) . I hope that you are able to find some comfort in God's promise of paradise where there will be no more pain and sorrow (Revelation 21:4,5)  and the many wonderful  memories of your loved one becoming a reality in the future resurrection in paradise.  (Acts 24:15). Please accept my sincere condolences.

Diana Mendelsohn
   Posted Sat February 17, 2018
Your loving friends with the Clay Class of 1979 hope you will receive our prayers and heartfelt condolences for the loss of your dad,
Samuel. He will always be with you, Deborah and family.

Over the years, many of us have given Karl Weis Auto Body Shop our business as it is a Clay business.