Milan ‘Buzz’ Yancich

On May 21, 1962, in Rochester, NY, Milan and Pauny Yancich welcomed their fourth child, Milan Robert. Their other children, however, decided to call him “Buzzie”! The nickname fit and lasted a lifetime. Buzzie grew-up in a musical household. There was a piano in the alcove, a marimba in the dining-room, drums on the 3rd floor and the sound of a French horn morning and night. He learned piano from Mom, and eventually, studied French horn with Dad. Life was good at 1014 S. Goodman St., but Buzzie’s heart was in the mountains at the family cottage on Woodland Terrace and around Mirror Lake at the Lake Placid Club (LPC). Dad played in the LPC Sinfonietta every Summer, and from the Podium, Grandpa White brought musical stories to life. There were dances, too, and masquerades, campfires and camp songs, The Beach, Pixie Meadow and wild blueberries. It was a child’s paradise. And so began our brother’s sentimental journey with Lake Placid, and the endless beauty and possibilities he found within the Adirondacks.

At 17, he landed a job as “Butler” for a Japanese contingent visiting the 1980 Winter Olympics. Brother-in-law Roby had an extra ticket to one of the hockey games. “Do you believe in Miracles?!” Buzzie did.

That year, with a fresh sense of enthusiasm, he entered college life at the University of Michigan. Law School followed at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland. Buzz was admitted to the Ohio Bar but decided to give California a whirl! He was admitted to the California Bar in 1990, establishing himself in Los Angeles. A few years later he was drawn to San Francisco. There he met another lawyer…“a girl named Maria”!, and in August, 1998, from the spectacular clifftops near Cambria, Maria and Buzz were married.

With his career underway, Buzz continued to excel as a Claims Litigation Counsel (CLC) at State Farm’s Legal Department, over 26 years. During this time he taught trial academics to Junior attorneys who joined CLC offices throughout California. In October, 2018, he was elected into the American Board of Trial Advocates, considered the pinnacle for a trial lawyer’s career.

In addition to his successful performances in the courtroom, Buzz appeared in Mirror Lake and on the roads of Lake Placid during 8 triathlon events (2003-2019). These frequent trips kept him connected to his special place. Maria and Buzz were now blessed with 2 young daughters, Mia and Audrey. Lake Placid was now a family affair and a home-away-from-home.

There were many travels and experiences together through the years…giving memories of Buzzie and his Zest-for-Life. For on June 1,2022, he began a new journey. His Ironman qualities were unmistakeable, and yet, it was his interior strength that is the Miracle we witnessed. Maria calls him “Valiant Buzzie”. He will rest in his beloved Lake Placid. His endless Spirit, however, will keep buzzing around.

Along with Maria, Mia, Audrey and Willie-the-dog, Buzz’s family includes: Father-in-law Roger Samson; Brother-in-law Rick Samson (Stephanie); Sister Niki Politi and Brother-in-law Roby Politi; Brothers Paul (Meg) and Mark (Lisa) Yancich; Nephews Nicholas (Emily) Politi and Putnam (Priscille) Yancich; Nieces Maggie Politi Stiggers (Michael), Nina Yancich Eastman (Colin) and Michelle Yancich; Grandnephews Frank Politi, Owen and Austin Eastman, Hudson and Parker Yancich; Grandniece June “Bee” Politi; and cousins across this country and in Croatia.

A private ceremony will take place at the North Elba Cemetery.

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