Robert Edward Dykoski – a teacher to hundreds, a coach to many, and a friend to all – died on July 23, 2023, at the age of 83.
Born November 5, 1939 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Kasmer and Elsie Dykoski, Bob had an adventurous spirit from the very beginning. Attending Patrick Henry High School, Bob lettered in swimming, football, track, and gymnastics. Following his high school graduation, when told by his father to get a job, Bob decided to bike from Minneapolis to Phoenix to spend the summer working for his aunt. Retuning to Minnesota, Bob joined the Navy in 1959 where he served in active duty for four years aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. He then remained in the Navy Reserve for 25 additional years.
In 1965, Bob started his undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota, earning a degree in physical education. During this time, Bob expanded his love of travel, spending one summer embarking on a solo trip visiting New Zealand, Tasmania, Australia, Philippines, Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. While at the U of MN, Bob joined the Gypsy Gymnasts, where he met his wife, Patti, in 1966. Together they performed hand balancing acts across Minnesota county fairs. Their adventures continued in 1968 when Patti flew to Mexico City to attend the summer Olympics, and Bob decided to join her but in a much more unconventional way – he rode his bike! Bob took 30 days to bike from Minneapolis to Mexico City, where, being mindful of his small travel budget, he convinced several small-town sheriffs to let him spend the night in their county jail before he continued his way the next morning.
Bob and Patti married in 1970 and moved to Mound, Minnesota. Bob received a position in the Wayzata School District as their Physical Education teacher, where he became well loved by his students for his energetic spirit, his love of physical fitness, and his owl puppets that he used to greet students as they entered the school each morning. Shortly after joining the Wayzata District, Bob started a summer gymnastics program to encourage summer youth activity, and eventually began coaching high school gymnastics and diving, and finally becoming a gymnastics judge. Bob also returned to the University of Minnesota during this time, earning his master’s degree in physical education.
Bob and Patti spent the early years of their marriage traveling all over the globe, including a repeat of Bob’s trip across Oceania and Asia, and an attempted road trip to Panama where they drove as far south as they could before literally running out of road.
From 1978-1981, Bob and Patti welcomed three children to their family, passing on their love of adventure and the outdoors, with their kids embracing travel and athletics at an early age. In 1984, Bob joined the Boys Scouts of America as a troop leader for his son and spent the next 35 years actively participating in Mound’s Scout Troop 569. For his distinguished services to the Boy Scouts, Bob received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest service award given in the Scouts.
Bob retired from teaching in 2001, spending his free time riding his bicycle, swimming, traveling with his wife, participating in Boy Scouts, and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He couldn’t stay away from education though and volunteered much of his time as “Farmer Bob” at Gale Woods Farm, helping educate children on animals, gardens and farming. In his retirement, Bob also embraced his love of coffee and talking, becoming a regular at the local coffee shop, where you could find him every morning chatting with friends.
Bob will be remembered for being a great storyteller; willing to share his life experiences with anyone who would listen. Favorite family stories include when he tipped his canoe into the Mississippi River in the middle of the winter, swimming from the east end of Lake Minnetonka to the west end, and numerous stories of his time in the Navy.
Bob’s memory will be cherished and kept alive by his wife Patti; children Rob (Amy) Dykoski, Megan (Brent) Johnski, and Amanda Dykoski; grandchildren Marek, Tobin, Gemma, and Addalyn; his brothers Richard “Dick” (Karen), William “Skip”, and Daniel; his many nieces and nephews, and countless friends. Bob was proceeded in death by sisters Barbara and Carol.
Services will be held at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 2385 Commerce Blvd. Mound, Minnesota on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at 11:00am. Visitation will be held at the church prior to services from 9:30am-11:00am.