In Memory of Richard "Gobbler" Byrkit

March 11, 1939 - January 10, 2018

March 11, 1939 - January 10, 2018

Richard H. (Gobbler) Byrkit, 78, of Spooner joined his parents and buddy Maximillian in eternal life on January 10, 2018.  He was born on March 11, 1939 to Harold and Cecilia (Gutting) Byrkit in Spooner, Wisconsin, and spent his childhood at Whispering Pines Resort on Matthew Lake in the Town of Chicog.  He attended school in Spooner and finished his secondary education at St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin and attended colleges at UW Superior and Beloit College where he played football and completed his education.

Richard married his wife, Helen (Michels) Besst on February 14, 2009 at their home on Loon Lake in the Town of Casey, Washburn County.  They shared their years together snowmobiling, enjoying local and Canadian Hockey, Green Bay Packer Football, traveling, and mostly fishing and touring in Canada.  He will be missed by his many friends in Canada.  He was employed with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as a Road Project Manager, retiring after 37 years in 1996.  He enjoyed and was proud of the work he did and the many acclimations he received during his employment with the State.

Gobbler was an avid outdoorsman, hunting and fishing was his enjoyment in his retirement and many years before.  He especially enjoyed great times in the woods, on the lakes, and acquired many friends in the far reaching parts of northern Ontario, Canada and Alaska.  His pride was evident in the display of wildlife mounts in his home.  The 2017 Wisconsin Whitetail hunting season was his last opportunity to enjoy his passion at the Chippanezie Hunting Camp which he built for himself, his family, and friends.  He also had a passion for making firewood, chainsaws were his favorite toy at home, it was a hobby for him, and provided for the comfort he got from keeping the woodstove going in his Jack Daniels wildlife Man Cave.  Gobbler was well-known as businessman and supporter of many functions in Spooner including development of Youth Hockey Programs.  He was an advocate for all dogs, many people knew him with his side-kick, “Max” who preceded him in death a few years ago.  He was a supporter of the K-9 Unit with the Spooner Police Department.

He is survived by his wife, Helen Besst of Spooner, brother, William “Bill” (Mary) Byrkit of Stone Lake, sons, Scott Byrkit of Coon Rapids, MN and Mark Byrkit of Spooner.  Daughter Cindy (Mark) Cameron of Spooner.  Stepson Robert (Cheryl) Besst of Spring Lake Park, MN, stepdaughters Karen (Rich Ness) Besst of Plymouth, MN and Tammy (Hank) Dalbec  of Maple Lake MN.  Grandsons, Michael Byrkit of Chetek, Tyler Byrkit of Pine City, MN, Ryan Byrkit of Duluth, MN, and Tetlin Byrkit of Spooner.  Colton and Grayson Avery of Spooner. Step-granddaughters Emilie and Abbie Dalbec and Eloise Besst of Plymouth, MN and Step-grandson Henry Dalbec of St. Paul MN.  Nephews William, Jr. “Billy” (Gulsari) Byrkit of Woodbury, MN, Steve (April) Byrkit of Prior Lake, MN and Andy (Mary Pat) Byrkit of Peoria IL.  Great-nephews Colin Byrkit of Woodbury, MN, Ben and Cal Byrkit of Peoria IL and Lucy Byrkit of Peoria, IL.

Richard is preceded in death by his parents Harold and Cecilia (Gutting) Byrkit, and many aunts,  uncles and cousins.

A visitation will be at the Spooner Funeral Home on January 15, 2018, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. followed by a funeral service at 11:30 a.m. and burial at the Spooner Cemetery.  Pallbearers are William Marx, Sam West, Dwight Marquardt, Jerry Thompson, William “Billy” Byrkit and Steve Byrkit.  A reception honoring Gobbler’s life will follow at Tony’s Riverside in Spooner.  Everyone is welcome.

Memorials may be directed to the Spooner Police Department K-9 Unit at 305 Elm Street, Spooner WI  54801.

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