David Gotaas
1951 - 2015
BORN
March 2, 1951
DIED
May 23, 2015
David John Gotaas, 64, passed away May 23, 2015. Born in Chicago to Lois and David S. Gotaas on March 2, 1951, David was raised a missionary child in Venezuela until his family returned to the Chicago area where David attended New Trier High School (1968), Wheaton College (BA, Economics, 1972) and Northwestern University (MBA, 1974). Although he began his career as a Certified Public Accountant, David was an entrepreneur at heart, and gladly traded corporate pursuits for self-made ventures in real estate, which he viewed as both business and ministry. In 1978, David married the love of his life and best friend, Sally Slingerland, who attended Winnetka Bible Church where his father pastored. David and Sally settled in Northbrook where they raised four daughters. David's childhood on the mission field marked him with a passion to serve others around the world. An active member of the Winnetka Rotary Club, David helped initiate the first Rotary Club in the country of Kosovo in 2005. David's involvement in Kosovo also included service on the Advisory Board for the Kosovo American Education Fund and the Board of Trustees for the American Councils for International Education. David's travels brought him not only to Kosovo, but to over 80 countries around the world. A member of the Circumnavigators Club of Chicago, David's favorite travel destinations were far from the typical tourist trail (including recent trips to Myanmar and Bangladesh), where he purposefully sought out the humblest accommodations to connect with locals and practice simplicity. Despite the breadth of his adventures, perhaps his favorite destination was Yosemite National Park, where he enjoyed bringing anyone willing to keep up with him. Wherever he traveled, David was known to share his adventures via postcards to family, friends and acquaintances. David will be remembered for his passionate love for Jesus Christ, love for family, integrity, thoughtfulness and generosity. He is survived by his wife, Sally, and his four daughters: Anne (Ryan) Cudney, Kathryn (Blake) Hanson, Mary (Justin) Nanfelt and Laura (David) Sneddon. In his final years, perhaps David's greatest joy was his grandchildren: Nathan, Nora, Kate, Silas and a fifth due in September. A memorial service is planned for 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 30, at Winnetka Bible Church, 555 Birch St, Winnetka, IL. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests funding for David's most recent philanthropic project: the printing of 25,000 Bibles in the Hakha Chin dialect for the people of the Chin State of Myanmar. If interested, please send donations to the Christian Far East Ministry, P.O. Box 1411, Glendora, CA 91740 or visit the website http://cfeasia.webs.com/donate.
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Published by Chicago Tribune on May 27, 2015.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
May
30
Memorial service
10:00a.m.
Winnetka Bible Church
555 Birch St, Winnetka, Illinois
Funeral services provided by:
Wm. H. Scott Funeral Home
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58 Entries
David Gotaas was my friend. I had the great fortune in meeting David when I came to Lake Forest College as a foreign student from Hong Kong in 1968. Through his friendship, I learned the American way of life and he helped me combat loneliness. I was totally surprised to find out on the internet that David had passed.
David Lo
August 5, 2017
David Gotaas was an answer to my prayers for my mother. I wanted her to have Christian friends she could relate to. He was her CPA and really cared for our family and has related in a great way to my sister, Maryella. He was so concerned for her when Mom died and we let her live alone and then he and Sally have taken her out to eat. He urged us to bring Maryella along when we had dinner together in March when we were visiting Maryella. He has been so many exciting places and given so much to missions. He visited us in Kenya with his oldest two girls and insisted they eat wild meat at a restaurant we took them too. We will miss David but Sally will miss him the most. We do have a friend in Heaven waiting for us, though.
July 13, 2015
I am so sorry for you, Sally, and the kids and grandkids. We love you so much. It was fun being with you just before all this happened. He's with Jesus where we all want to be but you are left here on earth. It was such fun hearing about Bruce Olson and your getting him to speak to others. Feel our hugs far from you in Canada at our summer home. Maryella will miss seeing him. He cared for her a lot. Joy and John Anderson
July 13, 2015
David's compassion, charisma and courage are the three mixed characteristics that made him great.

Kosovo, his second home as he used to call it, together with its people, have lost a dear friend. David's legacy will always live on...

Eranda Aliu &
the Kosovo American Education Team (KAEF) in Kosovo
Eranda Aliu
June 10, 2015
One great man left this world to meet us in a better place when the time comes.
David, thank you for your kindness and support. You will be remembered by many.
May your soul rest in peace and eternity.
My condolences to your family and friends.
God bless you all.
Biserka Ivanovi arkanovi
Croatia, Europe
June 6, 2015
Dave Gotaas, you passed without my knowing, and when I heard of it I was stunned. A more friendly, generous, and accommodating fellow than I have ever had the pleasure to meet and know.

He was a landlord to our business who felt like our partner.

Those great breads at Christmas time, those fierce racquetball games, quick with a smile.

A pleasure to know ya Dave. Life is not fair, but I know you made the most of it.
Terry O'Connell
June 5, 2015
We were so shocked and saddened to hear of your loss. We just pray for all of you that God will minister to you with His comfort, strength and peace. We were privileged to see what a wonderful person David was and what a special family all of you are during the illness and death of Lois. She was a very dear friend as is her husband. They were so special to us. God be with you and minister to all your needs. Love in Christ, John and Betty Adamany
John & Betty Adamany
June 4, 2015
I just heard about your passing my dear friend, I am shocked! What is left is the hope of eternal life that we have in Christ, and that is where I know you are with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Condolences to the Gotaas Family.
Arianit Osmani
June 1, 2015
It is hard to find words to describe Dave, it is harder to describe the memories and his ability to leave a life time trace in your life once you meet him. He was a friend of mine and my family, friend of Kosovo as he has done so much for this country. Dave was positive energy for all who knew him and he will be missed. Sally, please accept my, Mel's, Era's and Jon's deepest condolences for your loss. Dave's daughters, please be proud of your daddy, as he was always proud of all you. We all lost an amazing person in our life to soon.
Arben Limani
June 1, 2015
Dave was a blessing of God that helped us in the loss of my father Gary Andersen. I am so very sorry to learn of his passing.
Kelly Huschart
June 1, 2015
Sally,
We have not seen you and David for a long time. Since the Glenn Johnson days. Our prayers are with you and family.
God Bless,
Judi and George Carlson
Cape Coral, FL
May 31, 2015
Sally and girls, we are sooo sorry for your tremendous loss. Dave was such a vibrant, caring, and joy-filled man, who loved his Lord and his family above all else. What a precious legacy he leaves you all and such a big void in your lives. I am confident that he is organizing and filling heaven with his laughter as he reunites with his mom and so many others who he cared deeply for. We are praying for you all as you travel through these difficult days both knowing that he is doing great for he is now truly home and yet also knowing that those in his house miss him tremendously. He leaves behind a legacy of joy in serving Jesus, in serving his family, and in loving others well. All who have journeyed life with Dave, even for only a couple of years, have been blessed indeed to have known him.
Andrea Shupert
May 31, 2015
Dave was a precious blessing to our ministry here in the townships of Cape Town. We thank God for the many precious memories we have of him loving on the children of Khayelitsha. Our love and prayers are with his precious family today.
John and Barbara Doyle
May 30, 2015
Sally, My heart and love are with you and will be praying for the Holy Spirit to surround you with his love.
Katy Mcclure
May 29, 2015
A man of unlimited love and enthusiasm who approached life with the intent of helping others. He was an inspiration to all who met him and has left his imprint in many places where he will be long remembered.
Dale Pfeiffer
May 29, 2015
Sally,

I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. I know family and faith will comfort and guide you in the days ahead. God bless!
Joann Wilkins-Skiba
May 29, 2015
We can only imagine what David and Lois are experiencing, together. My prayer is for us, who grieve, to keep our candles lit, and let them shine, so others see Jesus, in and through us. God, please hold the Gotaas families, tightly.
Marjorie. E. Bryant
May 29, 2015
Dear Gotaas Family, We are sorry to hear of David's passing. I remember his generous spirit and thoughtfulness. After reading about the many ministries that he was involved in they truly demonstrate he lived his faith. You are all in our prayers. Peggy Huber Draver & Bill Draver
May 29, 2015
Sorry to lose a fellow Circumnavigator who benefitted so many with his generous and heartfelt caring.
Alice Lentzen
May 28, 2015
I don't think I've ever met a more positive, optimistic or generous man...a man who had a ready smile for everyone. He will be missed by many - those who knew him well, and those whose lives touched his only briefly.
Judi Geake
May 28, 2015
An incredibly generous, supportive and loving man. I am truly heartbroken. Love to you Sally and the whole family.
Suzanne Coleman Wilhelmsen
May 28, 2015
Hello, Gotaas family, Although we haven't seen you in years, we wanted to let you know how sad we were to learn about Dave's passing. Reading his history gave us a better understanding of how your girls ended up being such wonderful young women with a passion for their faith--and apparently some of them are now moms. I hope they are following in your kind and lovely footsteps, Sally. Prayers to all of you. The Castinos
May 28, 2015
We met David at Laura's and David wedding. He was so engaging and welcoming to us.. His life reflects his love of God and People.. May his good worksl be an inspiration for others to move on with his energy. He was so authentic , bright and compassionate. Agnes and John Halas
May 28, 2015
Dear Gotaas family,

Dave was such a wonderful and caring person, and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him. The world has lost an amazingly selfless person who led by example.
Sue Connaughton
May 28, 2015
David was a gem! I was fortunate enough to reconnect with him a few years back when my father (his uncle) passed away, and then again when my mom passed a year ago. Just a few weeks ago he and Sally showed such kindness when I came for his mom's service. I was grateful to learn so much Benson family history from him and to hear of his recent Chin Bible project. David lived with a passion that few do and his faith was a visible part of everything that he did. I am thankful for his life and deeply saddened by his sudden passing. Love and hugs to you and the girls, Sally.
Cousin Beth Benson Swain
May 28, 2015
We have lost a truly amazing and generous man. We worked together in Kosovo and elsewhere at AMERICAN COUNCILS and Carol and I always looked forward to receiving his post cards. We will miss you friend.
Larry Kurlander
May 28, 2015
Dear Gotaas family,

I am deeply saddened and at a loss of words of what to say. May your heart feel the warmth of my family that I wish to send in this email to you.
I'll always remember David fondly and have wonderful memories. I remember him as an excellent friend, ready to help people around him anytime and with a good sense of humor. I'm thankful that I've had the opportunity to meet him ten years ago and work with him in introducing Rotary and supporting education of young Kosovars. But it doesn't seem to be enough to relieve me.
He leaves behind a wonderful family and I know you will all be a great source of relief and support to one another.
Please accept condolences of hundreds of Rotarians from Kosovo and the Balkans and thousands of people that had a chance to meet and work with David.
I am praying for you to have peace and encouragement. I will keep you in my prayers.

Neshad, Neba, Arber, Dardan and Ilir Asllani
May 28, 2015
I have so many good memories of my dear cousin. David. It was wonderful to see him recently at my father's memorial service and then a few years earlier with Aunt Lois as they came passing through California. David was one of the kindest most generous men I have ever met and I admired him for all that he did for the kingdom of God. I know that I will see him in heaven someday! Praying for his beautiful wife and family and the entire Gotaas clan for God's perfect peace.
May 28, 2015
I am shocked and saddened to read of Dave's passing. He was a great man and a terrific husband and dad.
May 27, 2015
A wonderful man. Gone too soon.
May 27, 2015
Although we didn't know your family well, our paths crossed as we began raising children. Our prayers are with you in your deep sorrow.
Ed and Kristi Irvin
May 27, 2015
David was a stalwart soccer player for me at Wheaton College. I will always remember him as an intense competitor and a leader by example. After breaking a leg in serious collision with another player from Wabash College in had to sit out the rest of the season but was an inspirational leader for his teammates from the sidelines. He was a true follower of Jesus Christ and exemplified that through word and deed. Rest is the arms of our Savior, Dave.
May 27, 2015
Our thoughts and prayers are with all the family. Pat & Ray Herman, NJ
May 27, 2015
My heart breaks to hear this sad news. Too too young. Sally, I love you and I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers and your darling girls.
Victoria Baugher Clark Jackson, MS
May 27, 2015
May you know the Father's great comfort and compassion during this time. Grief, yes, but mixed with joy unspeakable and full of Glory! I will be praying on Saturday for all of you.
Claudia Gerwin
May 27, 2015
Dear Gotaas Family, it is with true heartfelt emotion of comfort and peace that I contact you at this most difficult time. Please know that yu all are in my thoughts and prayers. May God's love and comfort surround you as you mourn Dave's passing, but more importantly, celebrate his life. He sure made a God-print where ever he stepped. I would like to say that his passing was "untimely" however we know it was God's timing. He is in a place only we can imagine. Peace and blessings to you all, Lindsey Peterson
May 27, 2015
It's been decades since I've seen my Wheaton College soccer teammate, but I'm stunned to hear of his sudden death. From what I've read about his adult life, it was an expansion of the Dave we saw at Wheaton and on the soccer field: full of life and energy, passionate, playing the game for all it was worth with everything he had to give. A bright light has gone out. What a loss.
Bob Graham
May 27, 2015
My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this very sad time.
Pat Smith
May 27, 2015
I will remember Davie always as one of the most loving and caring Christian men I have met. May God continue to bless his family. Love to you all. Nancy Benson
Nancy Benson
May 27, 2015
So very sad to hear this awful news. My thoughts & prayers are with your family. May God give you comfort in your time of grief.
Cindy Kuo
May 27, 2015
I am so sad to hear of the loss of Dave. He will always be remembered by me as he set a daily example of how to live ones life.

Marie Platowski
Marie Platowski-Beals
May 27, 2015
Sally and family, I am so shocked and saddened by this immense loss. I loved Dave's energy and passion for the LORD's work around the world. He will be missed by so many. My prayers and empathy are with you all.
Stephanie Hayes
Stephanie Hayes
May 27, 2015
I wish Dave and I had been closer. He was a great servant for the needs of the world's least advantaged. Jesus shown through Dave's work is a powerful legacy.
Jeff Greenberg
May 27, 2015
Jeff Tideman
May 27, 2015
Jeff Tideman
May 27, 2015
One of the most amazing people I ever met. I fell honored to have known him. A generous soul.
Dafina Haliti
May 27, 2015
Kosovo lost a true friend, condolences to his family.

Valon Gashi- Kosovo EYP-er
May 27, 2015
Dear Gotaas family,

Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. Dave was truly a wonderful person who cared about people.


Sincerely,

Bill Lustig
Northfield Police Chief
Bill Lustig
May 27, 2015
Dave was an amazing man with a heart of GOLD...his family, his love of community, and his love of God made him whole.We had the privilege to meet him and his family...he will not be forgotten but will create a void for all that knew him. May his memory be eternal. Marilyn and Chad Prodromos
Marilyn & Chad Prodromos
May 27, 2015
It's hard to think of someone who impacted me more in just a few meetings than Dave Gotaas. I was in Prishtina, Kosovo when I first met Dave. "Wow, you speak good English!" he said with a grin when we first met. I will miss his sense of humor, the way Dave welcomed friends into his life, enjoying salads together at McDonalds and listening to Dave talk about his love for Albanian people in Kosovo.
Josh Miekley
May 27, 2015
What an amazing person and amazing life. Always smiling, always generous. Loving Jesus and sharing that love with so many all over the world. He ran the race well. He will be greatly missed. Lifting up the Gotass family at this difficult time.
Linda Pyle
May 27, 2015
My deepest sympathy to the Gotaas family. Leasing office space at One Northfield Plaza was more like joining a family than a business arrangement. Dave was a wonderful person who treated his tenants with respect and a genuine
desire to take care of everything. We got to know Dave the person; a man who lived his faith on a day to day basis. We got the postcards from the trips he took with his lovely family and saw his beautiful daughters grow up. Please know that Dave will be remembered as a man whose commitment and dedication to his faith and family was abundantly visible and inspiring.
Judy Meyer
Portage Financial Management
May 26, 2015
We are all saddened by the loss of Dave and our deepest sympathy goes out to the Gotaas family. We got to know Dave and his International Missions work through his presentations to the Men's Ministry group at The Village Presbyterian Church in Northbrook. We were especially touched by his work to bring supplies and the gospel to unreached parts of the world. He will be missed, but his presence will be felt for a long time to come. Our love and prayers go out to the Gotaas family in this difficult time.
Fred Weber
May 26, 2015
One always had the sense that Dave lived his life in close accordance with his Christian faith. A terrific, open-hearted guy, and always a pleasure to be with. What a tremendous loss for all, especially for Sally and their daughters, in whom he took such pride. I'm so sorry.
Cal Fentress
May 26, 2015
What a loss for all who had the opportunity to meet him. He always made time for people. His life was an act of worship and if you were so blessed to have but one moment with him, you would have witnessed God's spirit in him and through him. I hope we can I run our races with the same courage and focus on Christ as Dave did.

I will never forget Dave's gentleness. kindness and the love of Christ he showed me.

May he be counted among the saints in Heaven!
Tony Ghafouri
May 26, 2015
What a loss for all who had the opportunity to meet him. He always made time for people. His life was an act of worship and if you were so blessed to have but one moment with him, you would have witnessed God's spirit in him and through him. I hope we can all run our races with the same courage and focus on Christ as Dave did.

I will never forget Dave's gentleness. kindness and the love of Christ he showed me.

May he be counted among the saints in Heaven!
Tony Ghafouri
May 26, 2015
Dave wasn't just a devoted Christian who brought honor to his god. He made humanity look good. He made up for some of the rest of us.
Aaron Freeman
May 26, 2015
David practiced what he preached. He was a staunch example of "love in action" to those of us in the Thursday morning Bible study. You will always be in my heart.
Ned Meisner
May 26, 2015