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Thread: RIP Mike Gotovac of Dan Tana's

  1. #1
    Border Troubadour CAinOH's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Southwest Ohio

    Default RIP Mike Gotovac of Dan Tana's

    The long-time bartender from Dan Tana's has died.

    From Dan Tana's Facebook post:

    Miljenko “Mike” “Dida” Gotovac’s generous heart stopped beating on May 14, 2020, age 76. The son of Miše and Boja Gotovac, he was born on December 2, 1943 in the village of Lećevica, Croatia. He grew up amongst the rocky karst of the Dalmatian hinterland where he matured into a man of family, faith, and Croatian patriotism.

    In 1964, due to the poor economic conditions in what was then Communist Yugoslavia, he become part of the wave of young Croatian men, “Gastarbeiters,” that travelled to Germany for work. In 1967, he found himself on his way to Los Angeles, California, where he became a member of the tight-knit Croatian-American community. As indicated by the photographic record: Croatia, soccer, celebration and the racetrack were the order of the day.

    In 1968 he started working at Dan Tana’s restaurant, quickly making his way to the bartender’s stool, where he reigned as the resident curmudgeon for over 50 years, still working there until the time of his illness.

    In 1973 he married Milojka. Together they had three sons, Matija, Domagoj, and Milian. His passions, soccer and Croatian freedom, were a major part of his life. He was a player and longtime president of San Pedro Croat Soccer Club. He was a broadcaster on the Croatian Radio Program, put out by St. Anthony Croatian Catholic Church, where he was a parishioner. He was also a founding member of the Croatian-American Club.

    He had the great fortune to witness the long-held dream of Croatia emerging as a free state after the collapse of Communism in Europe. It is difficult to put in words the gravity of that moment, to see the “1000-year dream” come true. It was something that animated the spirit of the entire community, our family, and especially our father.

    He played hard, but he worked even harder. Working hard and providing were defining characteristics of his personality. As just one example, when he was having a dental procedure that required sedation, and the dentist told him he would need someone to drive him home, he responded “What home, I have to go to work,” and told the dentist to just give him something to grip instead. Classic Mike.

    He put others’ interests ahead of his own, especially his family, to which he was completely devoted.

    With Croatia free, and the Croatian national soccer team holding its own in the World Cup scene, he was able to mellow a bit. He absolutely lived for his granddaughters, catering to their every whim. He followed them around the house with plates of fruit, snacks, and food like a doting grandmother. He particularly enjoyed the introduction of a new baby, Beatrix, to the family. His patience with them, and his joy in seeing them happy, well-fed, and entertained, were boundless.

    He had a strong constitution with a remarkable threshold for tolerating pain. As a rule, he suffered in silence. In his final fight, this strength seemed like it was going to succeed as he withstood successive attacks from his illness. However, in the end the illness had a trick that strength and will could not counter.

    He lived a full life and experienced all its joys. However, his passing is no less tragic as he was still a pillar of support for his family, and he never got the chance to fully retire, release himself from life’s obligations, and enjoy his remaining years quietly with his girls. We will miss his barbeque, laughter, wisecracks and storytelling. Most of all, we will just miss his presence. We love you, Dida.

    He is survived by his wife, Milojka, his sons Matija (Anastasia), Domagoj and Milian, granddaughters Emelia, Iva and Beatrix, brother Ivica, sisters Anka and Dragica, and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents and sister Ivka.

    The family will hold private services; however, Mike has left instructions for a party, details to follow. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

  2. #2
    Border Rebel
    Join Date
    Oct 2017

    Default Re: RIP Mike Gotovac of Dan Tana's

    Just imagine the stories that he could tell...

  3. #3
    Stuck on the Border Delilah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Long road south out of Cass County

    Default Re: RIP Mike Gotovac of Dan Tana's

    Quote Originally Posted by My My View Post
    Just imagine the stories that he could tell...
    My thoughts as well, My My.

    That was a lovely tribute to Mr. Gotovac. It’s sad he didn’t get to enjoy retirement. RIP

  4. #4
    Moderator Glennsallnighter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    ... On a journey from innocence to experience..... In Ireland!

    Default Re: RIP Mike Gotovac of Dan Tana's

    RIP, I've been to Dan Tanas 3 times and while I couldn't say I remember him specifically its possible i spoke to him at some point. It is a magnificent restaurant steeped in musical tradition and I'm sure he will be sadly missed. Seems he was a very conscientious and hard worker. He will be missed. Sending sympathy to his family.
    'I must be leaving soon... its your world now'
    Glenn Frey 1948-2016 RIP

  5. #5
    Moderator Ive always been a dreamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Cruising down the center of a two-way street in VA

    Default Re: RIP Mike Gotovac of Dan Tana's

    I am so sorry to hear about this. He sounds like he was a lovely and caring man. My thoughts are with his family and the Dan Tana's family at this sad time.

    GA - I don't remember which time it was, but I recall that on one of my visit's, there were three of us (me, Soda, and either you, Perfect Little Sister, or Houston Baby) and we arrived early for our dinner reservations and sat at the bar while waiting. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that on this one particular occasion, Mike served us our first round of drinks. Then, he left (must have been quitting time) and another gentleman served us a second round. But, anyway, I remember what a fun time we had conversing with both of the bartenders that afternoon.

    R.I.P. Mike

    "People don't run out of dreams: People just run out of time ..."
    Glenn Frey 11/06/1948 - 01/18/2016

  6. #6
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Where Faulkner collides with Elvis

    Default Re: RIP Mike Gotovac of Dan Tana's

    What a shame! I always wished that on one of my visits, we could have talked to Mike.


    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

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