Robert (Bob) Doyscher
Nov. 10, 1951-June 17, 2022
Robert (Bob) Doyscher, 70, formerly of Marshall, died unexpectedly Friday, June 17, 2022.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife Lia, his stepchildren Lilli, Beth, and Ana, his brothers Tom (Cindy), Mark (Becky), Dan (Rhonda), and Pat (Charon), his sisters Ann Doyscher-Domres (Wade) and Mary, his cat Elsie, and many nieces, nephews, and friends the world over.
Bobby probably told the same stories a thousand times, but the story of his life remains the most interesting.
Robert Matthew Doyscher was born in the Halloran Hospital in Jackson, MN on Nov. 10, 1951, the first child of seven born to Richard and Margaret Doyscher, the first grandchild of William and Margaret (Coryell) Doyscher and George and Mary (Petrich) Hassing. His early years were spent on the 40-acre farm in Middletown Township, Jackson County.
He was mechanically inclined from a young age. Taking a screwdriver, he removed a leg from one of Grandma Bill’s end tables at the age of four. Always the apple of Grandma’s eye, she was not upset at all. He loved to tell the story of how Grandpa George let him drive the grain truck at the age of seven or eight. With blocks on the pedals, he was to drive the truck down the road to our parents’ place, with younger brother Tom as his passenger. He cut the turn short and ended up in the ditch.
The family moved to St. Paul, to Tracy, and then settled in Marshall, MN in Feb. 1962. Bob attended three different high schools – freshman and sophomore years at Central Catholic (which he considered his favorite time in school), junior year at St. John’s Prep in Collegeville, and senior year at the newly built Marshall Senior High, from which he graduated in 1970. Bob proudly noted that the only way he was allowed to participate in commencement exercises was to promise Principal Stan Kroon he wouldn’t hold a protest at the ceremony.
Bob’s fight against injustice began early. As a child, when told by his mom to quiet down and go to sleep, he declared to his siblings that because he was the oldest, he “had a RIGHT to talk.” Armed with a deep sense of social justice rooted in his Catholic upbringing, Bob protested the Vietnam War. He was drafted but refused on moral grounds to participate – a decision for which he paid dearly.
His formal education after high school took him from art studies at Southwest State to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and, later in life, to a degree in gunsmithing from Pine Technical College in Pine City, MN. He could do almost anything. In fact, if someone told him it couldn’t be done, he’d do it anyway. In fact, he was once told that he could probably make a rocket to the moon given some plywood, duct tape, and matches.
Much of his ability was due to his incredible mind.
Once Bob had an interest in a subject, he went all in. Examples include wooden boat building, ham radio, birding, fly fishing, kite building, antique bicycles, his Slovenian ancestry, thrifting for vintage Pyrex-the list goes on and on. He was an expert on countless topics, and if you asked him a question, he often gave you more than you bargained for. If you look up the phrase “the gift of gab,” Bob’s picture should be next to it. He could talk to anyone about just about anything, and he never shied away from correcting you if you were wrong. (Just ask anyone who attempted to tie a boat to a dock. His knowledge of knots knew no bounds.) He mellowed with age, but his will to impart knowledge never did.
He was happiest when he was creating. He was a talented artist, photographer, and draftsman. He was a boat builder and sailor, custom fishing rod builder, gunsmith, race car mechanic, skilled finish carpenter, electrician, and plumber. He remodeled projects for countless people and was even the general contractor when brother Danny built his dream home, Deacon’s Lodge, in Lake County, SD.
Bob married the love of his life, Lia Leirfallom Ash, in 1989. Bob was stepdad to Lia’s three girls, whom he taught to drive a stick shift and run power tools. He was so proud of them for being fiercely independent. Bob loved to tell stories of how the girls helped build their own house in Pepin, WI, hanging sheetrock like pros.
It was during their time in Pepin that Bob, through sheer orneriness, beat the demons of alcohol and cigarettes in order to reset to a life of good health.
Bob and Lia most recently lived in Lake City, MN where Bob loved to camp, boat, golf, take pictures of the weather over Lake Pepin, and promote the growth of clover and other pollinator-friendly plants in his yard.
After hearing of Bob’s passing, his sister Mary said, “A world without Bob will be a whole lot quieter.” His friend Jerry added, “And a whole lot less interesting.”
A memorial for Bob where all are welcome to share stories will be held Saturday, Aug. 6, at Hok-Si-La Municipal Park in Lake City, MN, from noon to 5 p.m. Please bring a lawn chair.