The late Dragoljub Donald Orlich fell asleep in the Lord on November 13, 1998, suffering a heart attack in his home, at the age of fifty-five. Donald was preceded in death by his loving parents Stevan (1983) and Marija (1984) Orlich, who were both American-born Serbs. His grandparents emigrated from Blinje, Lika in 1908 and settled in Pittsburgh, PA. Eventually, the two Orlich family brothers moved to Gary, Indiana in 1934 where they worked with many other Serbs at U.S. Steel. Donald‘s father met his wife Marija Arlov through friends. They were later married and resettled in Cicero, and all are buried at Montrose Cemetery in Chicago.
Donald was a U.S. veteran and served for two years in Germany. This service was followed by a quiet life of working at Western Electric (as his father did) and taking care of his parents. Donald‘s hobbies included rebuilding cars for racing, and enjoyed working with mechanical engines to make them perform at their maximum best. It is no surprise that his favorite sport was auto racing.
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
His dedication to his parents and our Cathedral serve as a great legacy. His humility is historic. He left all his earthly possessions to our Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral. His generous gift in excess of $430,000, and an extensive library in addition, makes him the Founder (Donor of $100,000 or more) of our Cathedral and the greatest benefactor in the history of our parish.
We teach our youth and ourselves of St. Sava and St. Nicholas, who gave away their earthly possessions to help and advance God’s work, and Donald followed through by emulated them. He walked in the way of those before him. He followed the example of those before him.
Donald became our greatest founder without any pomp and circumstance, without any public expression of gratitude and without any recognition. His gift was completely selfless, neither expecting to receive anything in return, nor understanding that he would become our greatest donor. The legacy he leaves is of true spiritual significance. May his memory be eternal.