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Peter John Vellichko Roman

Obituary for Peter John Vellichko Roman

June 26, 1927 - August 31, 2020
Millbrae, California | Age 93


On August 31, 2020, Peter John Vellichko Roman died peacefully at home in Millbrae, California at the age of ninety-three, surrounded by his beloved wife and children. He was born on June 26, 1927 in the city of Bor, former Yugoslavia, now Serbia.

Peter is survived by his wife, Mercedes A. Roman, his two children, Mercedes L. Roman and Peter J. Roman, his grandchildren, Valentina, Anna and Lily, and his great granddaughter, Lara, as well as his nephews, Steven, Tommy, Nicolai and Martin, and nieces, Anita, Natasha and Topliza. His sister Nadia, and father, Ivan Basil Vellichko and mother, Liubov Stepanovna Vellichko, preceded him in death. The family is incredibly grateful to Peter's wonderful caregivers, Isabel and Nora.

The quintessential self-made man, Peter lived a rich and beautiful life filled with amazing adventures and professional success. As the son of a Russian Cossack, Peter studied at the Military Cadet Corps and the University of Graz in Austria. He later immigrated to the United States, where he joined the army and fought in the Korean War. After the war, Peter combined savings from his work as a milling machine operator and the GI Bill to attend UCLA, ultimately earning a degree in Business Administration. During his studies, Peter also took studio art classes and produced sharp and elegant mid-century commercial prints. Always striving to achieve, Peter then pursued an International Business master's degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, where he graduated at the top of his class.

Peter was a pioneer in his field, driving the establishment of many Levi Strauss factories throughout the world, including its first production plant behind the Iron Curtain. Respected by employees and colleagues alike for his initiative, skills, and humanity, the Haas brothers personally praised Peter for his significant contributions to Levi Strauss & Co. upon his retirement in 1989. Post-retirement, Peter founded Production Consultants International and volunteered for the International Executive Service Corp, a nonprofit that fosters inclusive, sustainable economic growth in developing countries, helping establish factories in Macedonia, Thailand, Morocco and Egypt.

In the midst of his professional achievements, Peter lived an epic love story with his wife, Mercedes. Spanning continents, as well as breaking convention and language barriers, Peter loved Mercedes fiercely and they spent their twilight years regularly expressing their mutual adoration. Peter delighted in the successes of his children and grandchildren, their accomplishments rooted in his tremendous example. Now, his young granddaughters and great granddaughter exhibit Peter's same steely-eyed tenacity, and will surely carry out his example throughout their lives.

Peter was a true renaissance man and a devout follower of the Russian Orthodox faith, attending the Church of All Russian Saints in Burlingame. He spoke eight languages, collected fine art and unique cultural artifacts throughout his many world travels, and always shared the fruits of his success with family and friends. He was a formidable mountain of a man, and we will miss him dearly.

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