Tony “Ante” Lipanovich, passed away peacefully on February 13th, 2020 in his own bed at home. Tony was born August 17th, 1928 to Yaka Batistich and Ivan Lipanovich in Lumbarda on the Island of Korcula, Croatia. Tony and his Mom came to the United States by boat through Ellis Island in August of 1939 to live with Yaka’s parents in Oakland. Tony’s Dad, Ivan, had left Lumbarda when Tony was an infant to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina to make money for the family. Sadly, Ivan died in a work accident and Tony never got to know him. Yaka got re-married and had three more children, Kata, Frana and Chris. Tony grew up quickly. Tony was the big brother and kind of a father figure as he was already a teenager when his siblings came along.
In May of 1951, Tony left home to serve in the US Army during the Korean War. He was stationed in Linz, Austria as an interpreter at the Army Post office. Tony returned from service in April of 1953, and headed home to help with his siblings In early 1958, Tony was working as a meat cutter and his mom told him about this young woman that had just arrived from Konavle, Croatia the July before and thought they should meet. It was LOVE at first sight and the rest is history! Tony and Mary were married in April 1958, and they started their new lives together in Watsonville at 76 Holohan Rd. Tony continued his meat cutting career at Lamberts, but soon after found his new passion as an apple orchardist. Tony and Mary were fortunate enough to celebrate 60 years together in April of 2018 before Mary sadly passed a few months later.
In that 60 years, they raised their family and farmed their apples and operated Lucy B’s Orchards. They welcomed customers and friends at their backyard fruit stand with the best Mutsus in Watsonville, and during fall - pumpkins galore!! Tony was a consummate collector. He never met a piece of junk “treasure” he didn’t like!
Tony was forever tinkering in his shed determining if an engine “worked good- WG” or not. He could make a friend anywhere and everywhere and was one of those people you just couldn’t forget! Father, brother, uncle, Jedo, friend and farmer! He could do it all!
Tony is survived by his son, John; daughter, Jackie; and son-in-law, Peter Copriviza; grandchildren, AJ and Victoria Copriviza, Ali and Shawn Dobson, Megan and Anthony Gooch and Christopher Copriviza; sisters, Kata Patton and Fran and Don Huston; and brother, Chris and Marla Bacina; and numerous nieces and nephews and relatives in Croatia that he loved and communicated with often. Tony loved to be with his family and friends and make a joke or two, watch an old movie or hum a tune. “Bushel and a Peck” Tony - “Bye for now”, you will always be with us!
A Catholic rosary and mass was held on Monday, February 24th, 10:30 am at Valley Church, 2401 East Lake Ave. Watsonville, with burial to follow at Valley Catholic Cemetery. There was a reception immediately after at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 230 East Lake Ave. Watsonville. Mehl’s Colonial Chapel has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Valley Catholic Church (www.olhcchurch.org) or SACO/Student Exchange Program PO Box 2216 Watsonville, CA. 95077
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