Nan Fletcher Djordjevic

Date of Birth

January 18, 1938

Date of Death

February 2, 2023

Nan Fletcher Djordjevic passed away peacefully in Santa Barbara on February 2, 2023 after a valiant struggle with cancer.  She had been a Santa Barbara resident for more than 60 years.  Born in Berkeley, California, Nan was the youngest daughter of Ann Elizabeth Sloan and Maurice Carroll Fletcher (of Fletcher Aviation).  Nan’s parents met each other while students at Santa Barbara High School.  Her grandfather, James Esler Sloan, was a former Mayor of Santa Barbara.

Nan grew up in Altadena, California, also spending time at a second family home on Balboa Island.  She had a happy childhood, raised by loving parents and surrounded by pet dogs and cats.  After she graduated from Pasadena’s John Muir High School in 1955, Nan followed in her mother’s footsteps, attending the University of California at Berkeley as an English major.  She joined the Delta Gamma sorority, and spent a memorable year in Italy with her college friends.

At Cal, she met fellow student Francis Sarguis, whom she married after they both graduated in 1959.  The couple eventually settled in Santa Barbara, where Frank started his legal career and where they raised their three children, Taylor, Tod and Nina.  By the early 1970s, Nan was devoting her time to local political causes.  She also served as president of the Santa Barbara United Nations Association.  Her passion for justice and the common good continued throughout her life.

In 1978, newly single, Nan took on the challenge of re-entering the workforce.  After a stint at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, she worked as a library assistant at the UC Santa Barbara Library for several years.  Following retirement, she volunteered as a docent at the Santa Barbara Historical Society.

In 1981, Nan married Dimitrije “Mita” Djordjevic, a UCSB professor and renowned scholar and author of Balkan history.  Nan enjoyed traveling the world with Mita, and immersing herself in different cultures and cuisines.  Nan and Mita frequently had visitors and lively parties, often including Mita’s dear brother Micha, and their extended family and friends.  They always appreciated Santa Barbara’s beauty, enjoying the views, sunsets, and walks on the beach, usually accompanied by Buba, their beloved blue heeler.  After Mita tragically contracted Alzheimer’s disease, Nan provided him great comfort and support until he passed away in 2009.

Nan was devoted to her children, extended family, and many friends, and loved staying in touch with everyone.  She was thrilled to attend multiple high school and college class reunions.  Nan was tireless when it came to sending out cards, letters, and gifts, and remembering birthdays.  Christmas was an especially big event for her.  She always memorialized get-togethers with photos, and likely took thousands of them over the years.

Nan supported charities throughout her life, particularly those committed to animals and children.  She was a voracious reader, frequently enjoying mysteries, biographies and poetry.  She had a lifelong love of theater and musicals (during childhood trips with her parents, she saw productions with original casts on Broadway and in London).  Nan also enjoyed listening to classical music, and watching classic movies and TV sitcoms.  She never lost her focus on politics and world events, but maintained a wonderful sense of humor through everything; laughter was common in her home.  She will be missed by many.

When Nan was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago, she showed tremendous resilience while undergoing periodic, difficult treatments.  Although she valued her independence, in her final years she needed more regular in-home help.  Thankfully, her daughter Nina dedicated herself to the task, moving from Sacramento to become her primary caregiver, and allowing Nan to continue living at home as long as possible, as she always wished.

Nan was preceded in death by her beloved husband Mita and sister Nina Hixson.  She is survived by her sons F. Taylor Sarguis (Claudine) and Tod F. Sarguis; her daughter Nina S. Walker (Matthew); her stepdaughter Jelena Markovic; her step-grandchildren Vladimir Markovic (Natasha) and Daniela Markovic; her step-great-granddaughter Tara Markovic; her nephews Rob Hixson (Gina) and Ron Hixson (John); her cousins Linda Lawrence and Roz Arbel (Nir); her beloved rescue dog Mindy; and numerous friends and extended family.

The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center and Serenity House – VNA Health for their compassionate care.  The family is also grateful for the devoted work and support provided by Malena Reyes and Griselda Ochoa in recent years.  A private family celebration of life will be held at a later time.  Inurnment will be at Santa Barbara Cemetery.  Friends may donate in Nan’s honor to the charity of their choice if desired.


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