Dan went out on his own terms, slipping peacefully away on July 22, 2022 at the age of 80. Those who knew him best know that he loved traveling abroad; enjoying a steak dinner at the Black Angus; catching a matinee in the middle of the week; listening to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”; waking at the crack of dawn to drive to the ocean; wearing his signature Hawaiian shirts and watching sports seven days a week. But, most of all, he loved spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Dan always made good use of ‘Dad jokes’ and had his favorite sayings, as well: “Life isn’t fair. You’re as slow as molasses in February! You’re full of malarky!” just to name a few. Makes us laugh to think about.
Born in Montreal, Canada, Dan was five years old when he and his family moved to southern California, where he quickly became a hard-core Los Angeles Dodgers fan. A gifted athlete, Dan lettered in track and football at St. Anthony’s High School in Huntington Beach. He could also be seen sprinting down the field as a running back at Santa Clara University from 1960-63, where his speed and agility earned him the nickname, “Dangerous Dan.” After college, Dan served in the United States Army at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri.
In 1963, Dan married Dorothy Martin. During their 17 years together, they were blessed with five wonderful children.
A life-long educator, Daniel devoted 30 years to teaching math and English, as well as coaching football and basketball, at Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara. He also spent numerous summer hours on the baseball diamonds of Branham Hills Little League.
Travel was central to who Dan was. From fireworks over the Sydney Opera House, to the Great Wall of China – from the grand beaches of Rio to the humble paths of Jesus in the Holy Land, Dan experienced the incredible vistas of every continent on this earth with his own eyes.
Dan is preceded in death by his father, Emmett John Robitaille, mother Anne Evelyn Robitaille (MacDonald), brother Emmett Robitaille, son, Daniel T. Robitaille, and nephew Robert Robitaille. He is survived by his brother, Frank Robitaille (Gale); four kids, Joe Robitaille (Kelly), Theresa Stone (Jeff), Jim Robitaille (Sofia), and Jennifer O’Brien (Joey); daughter-in-law, Lori Robitaille-Biasca (Bob), and numerous nieces, nephews, grandkids and great grandkids.
A private internment will be held for the family on August 5th, followed by a public Celebration of Life at Wilcox High School from 3:00pm-5:00pm. Everyone is invited to join in celebrating Dan's life, and encouraged to wear their best Hawaiian themed shirts and clothing.
Those who wish to donate in Dan’s name may give to VITAS Hospice or Villa Verde Assisted Living. The family is grateful to both of these care teams for making Dan feel so at home and for showing him such compassion and dignity in his final days.
Dan’s favorite drink was an Arnold Palmer. So, the next time you’re enjoying an iced tea, add a splash of lemonade and lift a toast to Dan!