On Monday November 2, 2020 Peter Pavel Remec, loving husband and father of four children passed away at the age of 95 at the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home.Peter was born on June 28, 1925 in Ljubljana, Slovenia to Vladimir and Helena (Pollak) Remec. In 1945 at the end of WWII, he and his family fled for their lives from the newly communist Slovenia to Graz, Austria with what they could carry. While there, he earned a Dr. Iuris (1948) and Dr. Rerum Politicarum (1949) from the University of Graz before immigrating to the United States on the US Army Transporter “General Ballou” in 1949. He was forever grateful to President Harry Truman for authorizing the use of empty returning troop ships to bring back immigrants and in gratitude remained a faithful Democrat for the rest of his life. He and his family settled in Chicago Il. He paid a courtesy visit to Professor Hans Morgenthau at the University of Chicago, whom he had cited extensively in his doctoral essays. Professor Morgenthau inquired as to what he was doing and, finding out that he was working as a cake icer at Marshall Fields, offered him the chance to study for a Ph.D. When Peter told him he had no money, Prof Morgenthau managed to secure him a scholarship on the spot. He earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from University of Chicago in 1956. In 1954 Peter settled in New York City as a professor of Political Science at Fordham University, where he taught for 50 years until he retired in 2004. He married Majda Vračko in 1953, whom he had first met while in high school in Ljubljana and then again when they found themselves in the same refugee camp in Graz. They raised four children, son Peter, daughter Alenka and sons Marko and Tomaz in Scarsdale NY. In 1961, Peter earned the Diplome of the Academy of International Law at The Hague, graduating cum laude. In 1967 he was a Fulbright Grantee as Guest Professor to University of Rajasthani in Jaipur, India and later in 1976 was a Fulbright Grantee to Pakistan. Both trips focused on his passion for the Law of the Seas, specifically the Indus River water treaties.A devout Catholic, Peter was appointed as an Observer to the UN Mission of the Holy See in 1974. For his service, on May 27, 1983, Pope John Paul II knighted him as Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great. One of the privileges of this knighthood, Peter liked to point out, was that he was permitted to ride a horse into the Vatican!Peter was a very skilled wood worker, having learned how in his father’s furniture factory in Slovenia and he made most of the furniture in his NY home. Peter was also very gifted in languages. In addition to Slovenian, he was fluent in Serbo-Croatian, German, English and Latin and was passable in Italian and French.Peter was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, two brothers and his wife. He is survived by his four children, two brothers Andrej and Matija and seven grandchildren. A burial service officiated by Pater Krizolog of New York’s Slovenian Church, St. Cyril’s will be held at 11am at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, NY on Tuesday November 10. There will be an online remembrance service the night before and the family plans a proper funeral mass and reception when Covid conditions allow. The family asks that no flowers or gifts be sent, but donations be sent in his name to St. Cyril’s Church at 62 St Marks Place, NY, NY 10003.
HAWTHORNE FUNERAL HOME
21 West Stevens Ave.
Hawthorne, New York 10532
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