Milena ‘Mia’ Sedmak Vesic died Saturday morning, May 26, 2007, at the Duke Hospice Inpatient Facility in Hillsborough. Born in Donja Lastva, Montenegro to the late Rada Atanaskovic and Antun Sedmak, she and her husband immigrated to the U.S. in 1956 and arrived in Durham via Atlanta in 1964.
With a lifelong deep interest in music, Mrs. Vesic served on the Board of the Mallarme Chamber Players and of the Duke Artists’ Series. She was a stalwart supporter of the NC Symphony, the Ciompi Quartet, and the careers of aspiring local musicians. For many years she chaired the Music Appreciation Study Group of the Duke Campus Club. A loyal and productive member of the Friday Morning Music Study Club for over three decades, she organized the celebration of their 50th Anniversary.
Her civic interests led her to direct the Christmas Programs for the Stagville Preservation Center; volunteer work for the Carolina Theater; and to an active membership in the Kiwanis Club of Durham, where she served as its first women president from 2000-2001. A true humanitarian, she was best known for making a great success of the Club’s Terrific Kids Program.
Mia Vesic will be remembered as a woman of elegance and great dignity. She had a bright mind and quick wit. Through tireless civic activity, she went about quietly making a difference for others, never seeking personal recognition. Mrs. Vesic loved both Durham and Duke and has contributed to their wellbeing through her years of faithful stewardship.
She was married to Aleksandar Sedmak Vesic August 8, 1924-May 3, 1982 who joined the engineering faculty of Duke University in 1964. He was named to the J.A. Jones Distinguished Professorship in 1971, and was Dean of the School of Engineering from 1974 until his untimely death in 1982. Mrs. Vesic was intimately involved in her husband’s career as an advocate for the School of Engineering.
Mrs. Vesic is survived by her brothers, Stojan Sedmak and wife, Matilda; and Tomislav Sedmak and wife, Smiljka; all of Belgrade, Serbia; her nephew, Aleksandar Sedmak; her niece, Milica Sedmak; one great-nephew, Simon; and two great-nieces, Tamara and Tea.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 31, from Duke University Chapel with the Rev. Dr. Maurice Ritchie presiding. Burial will follow in Old Maplewood Cemetery off Kent St.
Friends may visit Wednesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hall-Wynne Funeral Home, 1113 W. Main St. in Durham.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mrs. Vesic’s memory may be made to the Terrific Kids Program, c/o Kiwanis Club of Durham, P.O. Box 1742, Durham, N.C. 27702-1742.