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The Tesla Memorial Society
21 Maddaket, Southwyck Village
Scotch Plains, New Jersey 07076
William H. Terbo
Executive Secretary
  Maria Godfors
Nikola Tesla: 1856 - 1943


Dan D. Mrkich, 1939-2005

It is with great sadness that the Tesla Memorial Society announces the passing on Wednesday, August 31, 2005, of Mr. Dan Mrkich, an active, honored and respected member of the Society Executive Board. While he was never a smoker, he succumbed to lung cancer first diagnosed on December 23, 2004. He fought and worked to the end.

Mr. Mrkich combined lifelong careers of diplomat and author. Born in the former Yugoslavia, he came to Canada at the age of 19. He worked as a steelworker and lumberjack before gaining his university degree. This was the background that served him so well as both trade negotiator and author.

Mr. Mrkich retired in 2004 from the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. On February 25, 2003 he was awarded Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee Medal for having made “a significant contribution to Canada.” Mr. Mrkich’s responsibilities for international trade required extensive travel in pursuit of Canada’s trade interests. This gave him a much broader access to the nuances of the many different nationalities and societies with which he came in contact.

Mr. Mrkich was the published author of nine books ranging from biographies and histories to popular fiction plus numerous articles and other contributions. He was a talented wordsmith and a tireless researcher. Book subject matter ranged from the biography of actor James Dean’s boyhood to the romance of life in northern Canada.

Mr. Mrkich’s interest in Nikola Tesla far exceeded the normal ethnic connection of people of similar Slavic backgrounds. As an eighth-grader he attended the same High School (Higher Real Gymnasium) attended by Tesla. And for one year he lived in the same little house where Tesla had lived 85 years earlier. His 2003 biography Nikola Tesla, The European Years addresses this early formative part of Tesla’s life and professional career so regularly overlooked by the many other Tesla biographers.

The Tesla Memorial Society wishes to express its most sincere condolences to Dan’s wife, Susan, his sons Alexander and Soren and his daughter Astrid. On a purely personal basis, I want to tell Susan and his grown children of the loss I feel. It is beyond that of a colleague but as a dear friend with whom I’ve worked so closely these several years.

William H. Terbo, Executive Secretary, September 2, 2005 TMSvr2 070226

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