Eli's Top Matches
About Eli Vukovich
The Fresno Bee
ELI VUKOVICH Mr. Vukovich of Fresno passed away August 23, 2001, at age 85. He was born on May 25, 1916, in Oakland, CA. Beloved Father, Grandfather, Husband and Friend, he was married to his wife, Elizabeth Lamm, for 62 years. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Sandy. Eli is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, his daughter and son-in-law Janet and Larry King; two granddaughters, Lori King-Dellanini and Tamara King-Irvin. He has five great-granddaughters whom he adored. He has one remaining sister, Anna Vukovich-Horn, and many nieces and nephews. Eli was a great man in every way. He was admired and respected by his fellow race car drivers. He raced midgets for many years and became a BCRA Hall of Fame Member in 1996. He was revered as a great mechanic. He was adored by his family. His love and his memory will always be with us. A Service will be held at Stephens and Bean, on Monday, August 27, 2001, at 1:30 P.M. Visitation will be held at Stephes & Bean, Saturday, August 25, 2001, from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., and Sunday, August 26, 2001, from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Remembrances may be sent to: The Billy Vukovich III Scholarship Fund c/o Yosemite Union High 50200 Road 427 Oakhurst, California 93644. The Vukovich and King families appreciate your thoughtfulness. STEPHENS & BEAN CHAPELOur 115th Year 268-9292
Birth: May 25, 1916 Oakland Alameda County California, USA Death: Aug. 23, 2001 Fresno Fresno County California, USA
Race Car Driver. Eli, who was inducted into the BCRA Hall of Fame in 1966, was the older brother of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Bill Vukovich Sr. Eli was not as renowned as Bill, but his name still carried weight in California, where he and Bill tore up tracks together in the 1930s and 1940s. In a 1984 "Fresno Bee" newspaper interview Vukovich asserted that "Racing was my life, and it paid well, too. Bill and I worked in the fields as kids picking grapes and everything. Then I got into racing and won some money. That was the end of field work. Dirt has always been my favorite place to race. Bill and I used to run everywhere we could. We'd drive five, six and even seven times a week. The Vukovich brothers started in midgets and stepped up to modifieds. His brother's death during the 1955 Indianapolis 500 while he was attempting to win his third straight classic-eventually led Eli to quit racing in 1961. "After Bill got killed at Indy," he said, "I just didn't have the desire anymore." Eli remained associated with the sport as a mechanic in a Fresno auto shop for several years before retiring. In 1996, Eli, his brother Bill, nephew Bill Jr., great nephew Billy III and brother Mike Vukovich were together inducted into the Bay Cities Racing Association Hall of Fame.