Tri Marije (“Three Marias”)
Marija Danjanovich Franulovich (1919-2011)
Widow of George, matriarch of Franulovich Clan. Born in Blato Island of Korcula in Croatia when it was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Escaped when Croatia was a part of Communist Yugoslavia in 1944, and arrived in the U.S.A. in 1949, after a five-year odyssey through five countries, three continents and thousands of miles.
Maria Franulovich Petrish
Widow of Nicholas (1937-2011), daughter of Marija & George.
Born August 14, 1940, in Vela Luka, Island of Korcula, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (Croatia). Fled Communism with parents and arrived in the U.S.A. in 1949. Attended University of Washington; married Nick in 1961.
Born in Blato, Croatia (Yugoslavia). She is Marija Damjanovich Franulovich's niece. After graduating high school, she married Edwin Anderson, a Mount Vernon graduate.
Three cousins named Maria restored a much-mistreated historic church building originally built on the property owned by Anna Curtis, for whom Anacortes is named. Anna deeded the property to the Presbyterian community in 1891, and the church was built in the same year. Some years later the church was sold to a Pentecostal congregation, then to the V.F. W. who finally did it in through misuse and neglect. It spent several ignominious years as a plumbing warehouse. It was rescued in 1981 by George, who went to John Gierliote, an artist who happened to be in the boarded-up building, and bought it on a handshake. The three families went to work saving the building from collapse and restoring the Queen Victorian period architecture. It was George’s dream to have a shrine to St. Nicholas, patron saint of mariners (George’s family had sailed the seas since the earth was flat), and a Croatian Cultural Center, where the music, food and traditions of their Croatian community could continue to flourish.