Mike Dolcini Passes at Age 66

Grinning bottle digger, 1994. We pulled three of these from a pit in a “dug out” backyard. Other diggers claimed that they had “cleaned that yard out”. Shut their mouths. – Michael Dolcini.

One of the hobby’s true treasures will be missed

It is with a sorrowful heart I share the news that my friend Mike Dolcini, passed away yesterday from a bravely fought battle with cancer. Mike was a special person, those who knew him know he was the first to offer help in times of need and was always there to give his sage advice and support.I first met Mike when I started doing these auctions. Twenty years ago I had heard he was the guy to talk to in regard to old bottles so I rang him up. He immediately invited me over to show me his collection, checked out some of the bottles I had planned on putting in my first auction and became a friend. In my book on western bitters I thanked Mike and pointed out that he knew more about western bottles than anyone I knew. He helped with the book immensely.

My wife and I had dinner with Mike and his terrific wife Jane on occasion and he’s been a mainstay in my world, the bottle world and a friend to so many people it would be impossible to count them all. He was known throughout the hobby as one of the greatest bottle diggers ever. As my digging partner for a while (until he couldn’t take me anymore) he knew Sacramento like his backyard and any success I had was due to him. I got permission to dig a couple outhouses downtown many years ago and as I watched Mike go to work I realized his prowess for analyzing and preparing the earth for his shovel and probes. He knew every lot in town and this was one he thought had promise and so it did, we found three colored umbrella inkwells in puce, blue and green. He let me keep all of them and I will treasure them forever.

The thrill of the hunt for Mike was as strong as his belief in God, his friends and his family. He was so proud of his daughter Kelly; she grew from a bashful little girl into a beautiful woman before my very eyes. I would watch as Mike’s eyes shined sharing news of his family. Mike’s life was not a complicated drama but rather a simple, spiritual adventure that kept a keen eye on life’s everyday trials and tribulations. He took things in stride; he made other people better. He was respected for his kind nature and humble stature. He was always the picture of health and to say the good ones go too early in this case is an understatement.

I will sorely miss Mike’s visits to our offices, his amazing insight into the bottle world and his kind attention he paid to those he knew for years or had just met. There was strength in Mike that came with a friendly undercurrent of kindness. His love for life and caring nature will be sorely missed by all of those who knew him.

The funeral will be on Wed. 12/12/12 at 11:00am at Holy Spirit Church 3159 Land Park Dr. Sac. 95818 and reception/lunch to follow at Park Terrace Swim Club 5500 Parkfield Ct. Sac. 95822

By Jeff Wichmann