Family, friends, party colleagues, his love Ana Bekuta, the staff of the cafe he loved, the Sports Association “Radnicki” where he once trained basketball, said goodbye to the honorary president of the Socialist Party of Serbia, Milutin Mrkonjic, who passed away the day before last at the age of 80. …
As the president of the Socialist Party of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, announced, they will all go to eternal rest together on Wednesday or Thursday, most likely in the Alley of Merited Citizens at the New Cemetery in Belgrade. As of today, a book of condolences will be opened at the party’s headquarters in the capital at 11 am, as well as in branches throughout Serbia.
On the night when Mrkonjić passed away as a result of a slowed heart rate, Bekuta, with whom he had been in a relationship since 2012, briefly said that “her Milutin was gone”. Yesterday she said a lot in the verses of her song:
– Every day of our love is two days of remembrance.
Yesterday, at the SPS headquarters, we found the president of the party, Ivica Dačić, who agreed with Aleksandar Antić and Žarko Obradović on the details of the funeral.
– We talked about technical details, unfortunately – Dacic said for “Novosti”. – We have the support of President Aleksandar Vučić for Mrkonjić to be buried in the Alley of Deserving Citizens. Vučić called us to express his condolences. He said that he was ready to provide support, whatever should be sent in a dignified manner. We have not yet specified the time of the funeral due to the organization, because a large number of people will certainly be present. So it will be either Wednesday or Thursday.
Dacic pointed out that Mrkonjic was a noble man, dedicated to the development of our country:
– This is a great loss for all of us. He is a legend of our party and state. His whole life was dedicated to projects. He was not just a politician, he was an engineer. He had a feeling for everyone and he treated us all like a father. And it is our duty to say goodbye to him as he deserves.
MILORAD VUČELIĆ, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF “VECERNJI NOVOSTI”
With the departure of Mrka, there is less goodness in this world
MILUTIN Mrkonjić was a good man before and above all. Noisy and big goodness. There is no one who turned to him for not helping him. He was extremely generous. A great gentleman. Extremely capable engineer. He is a true hero of the new country after the NATO aggression.
He openly loved people and they reciprocated. There was not a shred of evil in Mrka. There has always been a sensitive and refined being behind the seeming noisemaker. He did not have a shred of ideological and political fervor, exclusivity, greed, and that is why he was better at everything else he did than in politics.
He loved Slobodan Milosevic and remained faithful to him until the end of his and his life. With the departure of our Darkness, there is less goodness in this world. And fewer builders of beloved Serbia.
The table of the famous restaurant “Careva ćuprija” in the capital, which was often reserved for the people’s Mrka, was empty yesterday. But, behind him and at that table, there were many anecdotes and memories of him in the people who knew and served him.
– I’ve known him for 20 years. He had places he liked to go to, but he was with us most often. The last time he had lunch here was two or three days before he went to the hospital. He was a wonderful man, modest. He had no special requests – waiter Rade Radovanović told Novosti while he showed us the table at which Mrkonjić was sitting in the restaurant “Careva ćuprija”.
He did not like crowds, whenever he came, with friends or with Ana and her grandchildren, he wanted to be alone. Always gallant both in and out of the tavern.
– We were able to stay up late at night, to sing to the music. He would always honor musicians, waiters. And he also knew how to go into the kitchen and greet the cooks and treat them to a drink. He was a friend of the house, everyone loved him – says Milenko Milić, the owner of the restaurant.
An old-fashioned gentleman
– GONE is our good friend, the last gentleman of the old forge, a man who loved people, life and song. Last greetings to dear Mrka from Brena and Bob with the family.
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A wide smile is a trademark
– IF we are talking about Milutin as an intellectual, an excellent politician and businessman, he has always had my great respect. If we talk about Mrka Laf, a man whose trademark was a wide smile, arms outstretched to receive you in his arms, and a man who was a great friend of “Grand” and my family, the love for him will never stop. I am very sorry for his departure, I am inconsolable and sad. Goodbye, our dear friend.
Mrkonjic’s best friend was SPS official Slavica Djukic Dejanovic.
– We have been friends since the beginning of our party. And we additionally connected in the period of reconstruction after the bombing, which he led. Humanly, friendly and professionally I am fascinated by the effort he has put into the renovation. He didn’t go home for days, he was with workers on construction sites, from bureks for breakfast, physical activities, he did everything. It was an incentive for them to be ahead of schedule. After that, I had the need to develop the closest human contact with such a man – Slavica Đukić Dejanović tells us.
He will remember him, he says, as a person of above-average intelligence, who can love endlessly, even in his later years, which he showed in relation to Ana.
– He was able to approach a man regardless of his age, social and educational status. Everyone with warmth. He could think fast. His toneless image is optimism and laughter. And his tone, his inside was a connection of pain and pride. He knew how to suffer, even though he didn’t show it. He was just that, a man of pride and pain – she said.
They were last heard a few hours before the pacemaker implant surgery:
– He was an optimist. I don’t know if it was his intuition or he foresaw the end, but he wanted to encourage us and ask us to give an optimistic tone. He was a man of fulfilled wishes, but also of new ones. The fact that he was old did not mean that the young generation did not like him. They adored him. He was a Belgrade bohemian, an exceptional expert, a model for everyone.
Residents of Merdar in mourning
In MERDAR, a village in Kursumlija on the administrative line with Kosovo and Metohija, they mourn Mrkonjic, who as a former Minister of Infrastructure and Transport helped lift this village, destroyed during the bombing, from the ashes. As the locals of this village pointed out in a conversation with “Novosti” yesterday, Mrkonjić visited Merdare not only after the end but also during the bombing:
– What left the strongest impression on us is its cordiality and simplicity. He acted as if he were part of us, not a minister. That’s why we saw it as our own. DZ
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KK RADNICKI REMEMBERING THEIR PLAYER AND CHARITY
WHOLE LIFE WITH THE RED CROSS CLUB
In BC Radnički, together with Dudo Ivković, he played basketball in the 1960s.
– When he was a junior, he trained first with Bora Cenić, and then with Ranko Žeravica. He was a midfielder, but a great man. And when he stopped playing, he never left Radnički completely – Branko Kovačević, a member of the “Radnički” Sports Association for decades, told “Novosti”.
– He was always there when he needed to help Radnički, both financially and in another way. He was there to entertain us and when it was hard, if he could help he would help, but if he didn’t, he didn’t help.
As he told us, Mrka came to play recreationally even after he stopped playing sports.
Stanka Pejović, General Secretary of SD “Radnički”, does not hide her grief over the departure of the great Mrka:
– He was always there to help his and our club. I will remember him only for good.n
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