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Stojan Vucenovic


Stojan “Stanley” Vucenovic, 82 of Lincoln Park, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. He had lived in Clifton before moving to Lincoln Park in 1987.

Stanley was born in Bosnia, growing up in the town of Povelic, near the northern border. From a very young age, traveling was in his blood. He began exploring and his travels took him further and further from home. Securing a passport was impossible for people living in that region of the world, so Stanley became resourceful and learned how to cross international borders without being detected.

In 1960, Stanley successfully escaped from Yugoslavia to Austria. After a short time, he applied to move to Australia and lived there for the next three-and-a-half years. Surprisingly, he willingly returned to Yugoslavia. He quickly realized that he had no future there. He attempted several times to escape again by walking across the Austrian Alps. On his final attempt, Stanley’s childhood friend Jovo hid Stanley and a few other stowaways in the ceiling of a train passenger car. While in the ceiling of that train, Stanley fell asleep and began to snore loudly, almost getting them all caught! The train came to an unexpected stop and, after a brief period of time, they left the passenger car because it had been disconnected due to brake failure. Jovo quickly purchased tickets for another train and soon they were on their way again from Munich to their final destination in Solingen, Germany. His dream however was to make it to America. He attempted to apply for a U.S. Visa during the 1960’s, but at that time foreigners were required to commit to the Army and go to Vietnam in order to gain entry to the U.S. Although Stanley had an adventurous spirit, the idea of going to war in Vietnam didn’t appeal to him. After some hesitation, he threw caution to the wind and agreed to the terms. Upon arriving at the airport in New York, he imagined that soldiers would meet him there and he’d be immediately enlisted…but no authorities greeted him. In typical Stanley fashion, he walked out of the airport doors and made his way to his friend Sveto’s home in Paterson. There he started his new life and he never looked back! First working in the construction trades, he later became a machinist with the John Royal Company in Pompton Lakes.

In 1970, Jovo went to Croatia to visit his sister who was very ill. He stayed in Croatia for seven months but, just before leaving, he met a young woman named Magda Kras. A year later, he returned to Croatia again, this time with Stanley joining him, due to his sisters passing. At Jovos wedding, Stanley was introduced to Jovo’s wife’s sister, Marija. When they returned to the United States, Stanley kept thinking about Marija and shared these feelings with Jovo. This prompted Jovo to make a deal with Stanley. He would pay the $325 to fly Marija to the U.S. If Stanley didn’t marry Marija, he would not have to pay him back, but if he did end up marrying Marija, he’d have to give him $325. It turned out to be the best $325 Stanley had ever spent as he and Marija were married by the justice of the peace in Paterson within two weeks of Marija stepping off that airplane.

Stanley’s desire to travel never waned and his bicycle became his favorite mode of transportation. On any given day, he would ride his bike from Lincoln Park to Pompton Plains, then over to Jack’s Super Foodtown in Wayne, then perhaps down to Willowbrook Mall where he would go inside to walk around for a little while, after which he would bike home to Lincoln Park once again! He would stop along the way at his favorite places to pick up something to eat or drink, but then he was soon back on his bike. He was unstoppable. Family and friends would enjoy receiving texts including pictures of Stanley riding his bicycle somewhere. You never knew where the next “Stanley sighting” might be! Recently his cardiologist told him to stop riding the bicycle, but there was no way Stanley would listen to such a directive. That bike was a part of him, so he kept riding.

Stanley loved his family very much and he was extremely proud of his grandchildren. “Deda” (Grandpa) was his most favorite name, he loved hearing it, and he spent as much time as possible with his grandchildren. He made it to as many of their activities as he could, usually arriving on his bicycle. He would ride to each of his sons homes almost daily, and often picked his grandchildren up at school. If he arrived a little early, he would walk laps around the school while waiting for the bell to ring. He simply couldn’t sit still for any length of time. In fact, it became commonplace for him to go ‘missing’ occasionally, as he would just walk off to explore. He would amazingly reappear right around the time that his family began to worry about him. Stanley has now departed on a new and wondrous adventure, exploring far and wide once again.

Stanley is survived by his beloved wife of forty four years; Marija (Kras) of Lincoln Park, two sons; Elvis Vucenovic and his wife Wendy of Pompton Plains, and Nenad Vucenovic and his wife Gina of Pequannock, and four grandchildren; Julia, Ryan, Sophia, and Geno.

Friends may visit with the family at the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Road, Wayne, on Friday, November 24, 2017 from 4-8 PM. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home, 10 AM on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. Burial will follow at the Laurel Grove Memorial Park Cemetery, Totowa.  

Guest Book


All of our love and prayers to all of you! We love your family so much. May the love of your family and friends give you strength, and help heal your pain. Hugs, kisses, and love, George, Kristen, Laney, and Remi Scillia

Scillia Family


Dear Elvis, Nino and family our sincere and deepest condolences to you and your family during this time of sorrow. May your father rest in peace and may God comfort you.

John Gagliardo & Family

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