John T. Vucurevich logo

Our Founder

John T. Vucurevich was born in Yugoslavia in 1912 and at the age of eight immigrated to the United States with his parents and younger brother, Milan.  John’s younger brother, Alex, was born in 1921 in Lead, SD where the family settled.   John attended public school in Lead.  Over the years, John learned the value of hard work, telling the truth, the need for keeping sound spiritual values, and the importance of helping those less fortunate.

John worked in a variety of jobs and owned several businesses, but his real passion became banking and he purchased his first bank in 1951.   He was a successful banker for over 50 years, owning several banks in the upper Midwest.  He developed a reputation as an expert in the development of publicly traded bank holding companies and served on a number of gubernatorial advisory committees.  John also felt community service was very important and he served in both the South Dakota House of Representatives and Senate.

Rapid City and the Black Hills area were very important to John, and he remained active in the community throughout his life.  John was a generous philanthropist, often providing support anonymously to a variety of causes during his life.  He wanted his philanthropy continued through his Foundation after his death.

John passed away in 2005 at the age of 92.  The John T. Vucurevich Foundation became fully funded in 2007.  John’s legacy of philanthropy continues, with the Foundation providing grants to organizations in our area, “to make a piece of the world a brighter place.” 

One of John's favorite quotes was, “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show… let me do it now. For I shall not pass this way again.”

-Stephen Grellet