Robert H. Dirksen
On March 7, 2013, due to additional complications, Robert lost his lengthy and courageous battle with chronic lung disease. Death came peacefully with his wife, Phyllis in attendance. Born April 1936 in Goshen, New York, Robert was the second of three sons born to John and Lydia Dirksen. Robert is survived by his wife, Phyllis; his brother, Ron (Patricia) Dirksen; sisters-in-law, Chiyoko Dirksen and several nieces and nephews. Among the survivors are close friends the Chaput family in Manitoba, Canada. He was preceded in death by his son, Conn Dirksen; his older brother, John R. Dirksen; his parents, his sisters-in-law, Marilyn Hayunga and Ann Dirksen. The Dirksen family spent Robert's formative years in New York, New Jersey and Ohio. Early on he developed an interest in music. He graduated from high school in Illinois and earned a B.A. from the University of Dubuque. At UD he sang for four years as a bass with the Concert Choir and two years with the men's glee club. After graduation he married Phyllis Hayunga in the Chapel at the University in August 1957. His professional career as a secondary social studies teacher began in Milledgeville, Illinois. He continued his education and attained his M.A in American History from the University of Northern Colorado. He taught high school social studies in Colorado for 20 plus years and during those years earned his Educational Specialist Degree in Instructional Media from University of Colorado. Later he used that preparation to become Library Media Specialist at Pueblo County High School. During his career he was granted a one-year sabbatical to study educational administration. While he and Phyllis lived in Colorado he was active in a bowling league, Lions Club and enjoyed hunting and fishing. Their son Conn was born during the time they lived in Sedgwick, Colorado. Because of complications from his lung condition he took early retirement and spent two winters in Tucson. In 1991 his wife, Phyllis was able to retire and they relocated to Tucson full time. During retirement he was active in St. Mark's United Methodist Church Choir and Tucson Garden Railroad Society. He had a lifetime interest in history, especially as it related to railroads. A Memorial Service will he held at 3:00 p.m on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at St. Mark's United Methodist Church at 1431 N. Magee Road, Tucson, Arizona. In lieu of flowers remembrance donations may be made to Alpha 1 Foundation, 2937 Southwest 27th Ave., Suite 302, Miami, FL, 33133 or St. Mark's Endowment Fund at St. Marks United Methodist Church, 1431 West Magee Road, Tucson AZ, 85704, or to the charity of your choice. Arrangements by ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Avalon Chapel.