Jerzy (George) Gabriel Relich passed away on May 28 of natural causes. He was born in Warsaw, Poland March 18, 1927, the oldest child of Konstanty and Janina Relich. As a child, Mr. Relich was raised in Poland until his childhood was impacted by World War 2 and the German occupation of Poland. Mr. Relich took part in the Warsaw uprising against the German occupation, ending up in a prisoner of war camp in Hamburg, Germany. Following his liberation by British forces, Mr. Relich migrated west to Great Britain, completing his high school education in Scotland and attending the Polish University College in London where he attained his Masters in Chemical Engineering. After graduating from college, Mr. Relich migrated to Ontario, Canada and worked as a chemist. In Caledonia he met the love of his life, his wife Therese Relich, nee Robinson. After the birth of his first four children and expecting his fifth child, Mr. Relich moved his family to sunny Southern California where the last of his 4 children were born. He spent 10 years working in Seoul, Korea, as well as a substantial amount of time in Hyderabad, India.
Mr. Relich’s career took him to many places around the world, but California became his anchor. He enjoyed the weather and his home with the fruit trees and rose bushes. He also enjoyed the availability of red wine; whether it be the juice boxed sized wine from the 99 Cent Store, the Two Buck Chuck, or the 90 to 100 point reds he receives from his children, if it’s a red, it’s drinkable. He loved the diversity California offered. He had a passion for adventure and loved to travel but always appreciated coming home to California.
Mr. Relich can be defined by his strong work ethic, his constant thirst for knowledge and finally his love for adventure. He believed that any task you begin, it was your duty to follow through and finish. His work ethic was one of the greatest gifts that he passed on to his 8 children.
Mr. Relich had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and daily read the LA Times, Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, The Economist, and Zgoda (a Polish newspaper). He had a particular affinity for US and Polish politics. He also had a love for Language. Besides Polish, his mother tongue, he could converse in Latin, English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, and Korean. He once said his skill in learning languages was rooted in his love of Latin.
Mr. Relich had a love for adventure and traveling to new places. It started with his backpacking/hitch hiking journey through post war France to his backpacking through California’s national parks. His adventures took him to six of the seven continents. Antarctica was of no interest to him, as he said he has seen ice before. In traveling the world he loved experiencing new cultures, food, and drink.
Finally, Mr. Relich’s faith in God needs to be mentioned. As a devout Catholic, throughout all of his experiences, good and bad, he was always thankful to God for the roof over his head, the food on the table, and his family. His faith in God was unwavering and steadfast.
Mr. Relich is survived by his seven children, Marek Relich, Peter Relich, Kasia Gay, Julie Bausch, Michael Relich, Joseph Relich, John Relich, 18 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind numerous loving relatives and friends. His wife of 63 years, Therese Relich, son Paul Relich, and sister Basia Sielicka preceded Mr. Relich in death.
A visitation will be held on Sunday June 10th, from 5 pm to 7 pm at Heritage-Dilday Memorial Service, 17911 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA 92647. Funeral mass will be held on Monday, June 11, 12 noon at Saint Bonaventure Catholic Church, 16400 Springdale Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92647 followed by an internment ceremony at Good Shepherd Cemetery. There will be a reception after the internment, time and location details to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders.