Robert “Bob” Dybvig, age 88, of Ortonville, died Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at Northridge Residence.
Funeral services will be Friday, April 22, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at First English Lutheran Church with Rev. David Tonn officiating. Burial will follow in Mound Cemetery. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the time of service at the church on Friday.
Casket bearers will be Bob’s grandsons: Eric, Jacob, Nathan, Ross, Jordan, and Tyler Dybvig. Honorary bearers include his granddaughters: Morgan Kenmir, Meghan Lafferty, and Marit Rheinheimer.
Robert Clare “Bob” Dybvig was born May 10, 1927, to Henry N. and Agnes (Sundal) Dybvig near Colton, South Dakota. He was the seventh or eighth child in a family of nine; when asked who was born first – he or his twin sister, Rhoda Clarice – he would pause thoughtfully and then answer, “I don’t remember!” Such was an example of his lifelong sense of humor. He grew up on the Dybvig Nursery in rural Colton, which was homesteaded by his grandfather, Nels Dybvig, who first specialized in cottonwood and willow tree stock. The nursery would eventually supply a great number of the trees planted in developing the prairie and box car loads of vegetables shipped to Midwestern cities. At age 13, Bob was involved in a boating accident with his 22 year old brother, James. He was rescued, but James, even though an excellent swimmer, did not survive. Even as a young man Robert had a sense of style; at age 14, he found a haberdasher in a men’s clothing store who dressed him to his liking, and his mother never bought him clothes again. He graduated from Colton High School in 1945, crediting that accomplishment mainly to Rhoda’s tutelage. After graduation he joined his family in working full time at the nursery.
Robert met Marilyn Johnson at the Arkota Ballroom in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They didn’t share their names at first, so their relationship started as Blondie and Casanova. Bob and Marilyn were married on June 17, 1950, in Hills, Minnesota, and to this union three sons were born. When it was time to strike out on his own, Robert drew on that sense of style and worked in clothing stores in Rock Rapids, Iowa, and Dell Rapids, Minnesota. The family moved to Ortonville, Minnesota, in 1960 when he became a managing partner of Habicht’s Department Store. A few years later they purchased Mayme’s, a ladies’ dress shop. Bob left Habicht’s in 1970 and opened Dyb’s for Him, a men’s store in Milbank, South Dakota, and later Dyb’s for Him and Her in Breckenridge, Minnesota.
Bob and his family immersed themselves in their new hometown. He truly believed in Ortonville and its potential. His concern for people led to being a foster parent and hosting an international exchange student. A typical part of suppertime conversation included the couple sharing about the day’s customers, piecing together who was related to whom and other information to know them better. This example of customer service became part of their legacy to their sons, which both enjoy to this day. He dearly loved his family, and each grandchild was a joy to him. He was a member of Kiwanis, the Chamber of Commerce, and First English Lutheran Church. Bob had many interests including politics, golf, following high school and professional sports, traveling, dancing, playing cards, and telling a long, drawn out joke. He loved to cook and made the best ham, lefse, flatbread, and peanut brittle. Although he had left the nursery, he still loved the land and always nurtured vegetable and flower gardens and raised sweet corn. He became a Master Gardener with a special interest in trees and roses and served on city Parks and Trees committees. In his retirement he worked for 15 years at the Ortonville Golf Course as a groundskeeper. He had a great part in its beautification by developing annual and perennial plantings. He considered his greatest accomplishments to be planting over 400 trees on the golf course and establishing the downtown rose gardens. Bob and his bride enjoyed 62 years of marriage, living 50 of those in the house on Otto Avenue.
Robert met his Lord on April 13, 2016, at Northridge Residence in Ortonville.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, James and Clarence, sisters, Mildred, Dorothy, and Rhoda, beloved wife Marilyn, and infant son David. He is survived by sons, Bruce (Joanie) of Savage and Monte (Carol) of Cambridge, 9 grandchildren and their spouses, 19 great-grandchildren, brother, Melvin of Portland, OR, sisters, Ruth Bliss of Burnsville and Carol Lerdal of Sioux Falls, SD, and brother-in-law, Jack (Kay) Johnson of Anaheim, CA.