Nikola Mirkovich Jr.
Nikola Mirkovich Jr., known to friends and family as “Nick,” passed way July 11, 2018 at the age of 82. Born in Veli Rat, Croatia, he was a naturalized and proud citizen of the U.S.A., and served his new country in the U.S. Army assigned to special services. He represented the United States on the 2nd A/C Dragoons soccer team and won the 1959 Battalion Level Championship. In 1960, he started his career in the seafood industry as a shrimper, and eventually expanded to long-line commercial sword fishing, owning his own company which included four vessels. Nick served on the board of the Texas Shrimp Association for many years. Having grown up on an island in the Adriatic Sea, he fished both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans during his career and visited many countries in both North and South America in his ports of call. Nick was one of the first people to use sea-born ice-making machines to preserve the fish products on the way to market. His hobbies included building nautical models and playing poker. He played in the World Series of Poker in the last tournament held at the Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas before it was relocated to a larger venue. He received many accolades in his life and one of the things he was most proud of was in July 1993, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) awarded him with a commendation for his part in a rescue at sea when he captained the f/v Becky M. The USCG contacted Nick, who spoke multiple languages, who then communicated with the Spanish-speaking crew of f/v Isla De Mar, to effect the rescue of the vessel during Tropical Storm Arlene. Nick was a member of Stella Maris Catholic Church in Lamar for many years, and also attended local services at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea in his hometown of Aransas Pass. Loved ones who will miss Nick until they meet again are, his wife of 37 years Polly Mirkovich; his daughter Sandy Pfaab, husband George Pfaab, and their children Erika Pfaab and Forrest Pfaab; his daughter Venka Webb and her children Waylon Schultz and Nikki Webb; his daughter Rebecca Corser, husband Kent Lee Corser, and their children Clark Allen Corser, and the late Nicole Alane Corser who preceded her grandfather in death; one step-son Albert Keith DesHotel, wife Maria DesHotel and their children Daniel Keith DesHotel, Brandon DesHotel and wife Melissa DesHotel; and Kyle DesHotel and wife Denise DesHotel and their children Brittani Valdez, Adrian Valdez, and Louis Valdez. A celebration of Nick’s life was held Sunday, July 15 at the Memorial Oaks Funeral Home in Houston.