William “Bill” Albert Lydecker, age 81, accomplished a life devoted to teaching, music, and travel passed away on December 29, 2017 in St. Peter, calmly purposeful, as always, in the face of cancer and Parkinsonism.
Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, January 6 at 11 a.m. at the St. Peter Funeral Home – Klein Chapel. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Doctors Without Borders or a charitable organization of donor’s choice.
Bill was born on September 24, 1936 in Passaic, New Jersey to David and Mildred (Disbrow) Lydecker. He was a high school valedictorian in 1954, lettering in bowling. He was also a Carleton College cum laude graduate in 1958. Bill completed a PhD in clinical psychology at UW Madison in 1967. He was awarded a post-doc fellowship to study new research on behavioral therapy at UNY-Stony Brook in 1971-72.
Bill was first employed at the St. Peter State Hospital from 1961-65. He was later hired by Gustavus Adolphus College to serve as the first college counselor and to teach psychology from 1963-1992. He also served for several years as chair of the college academic policy and programs committee. In later years, Bill served as visiting professor of psychology at Bridgewater MA State College, College of the Holy Cross, and UW River Falls.
Bill married Marilyn “Marna” Krueger, an occupational therapist at SPSH, in 1961. They had two sons, Peter and Andrew. Marna died of cancer in 1977. In 1981 Bill married Ann (Ruesink) Favor, an education professor at Gustavus, with sons J. Martin and Richard. Ann later served as Chancellor at UW River Falls until her death in a car accident in 2004.
Bill was a life member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, serving as a chapter officer, chorus director, district officer, and contest judge. Bill was also a charter member of the Mankato Riverblenders and he was a founding member of the quartet, Magic. He sang bass in several Minnesota and Massachusetts choral ensembles, and in numerous quartets. He also played brass for several years in the St. Peter Govenaires. Bill and his sons built a geodesic dome as a lake cabin in northern Minnesota, and he was a life-long but sporadic golfer. Bill loved to travel and saw much of Europe and China, parts of Central and South America, and much of North America, Russia, and northern Africa. His favorite destinations were London, Rome, St. Petersburg, and the Caribbean.
Bill is survived by his sons, Peter (Karin, grandson Simon) and Andrew (Brandi, grandchildren Amelia and Henry) and step-sons, J.Martin Favor (Michael Blumenauer) and Richard Favor (grandsons Mitchell and Clayton), sister Lois Leijdecker-Ott and former Gustavus colleague and late-life companion, Ruth Johnson.