John & Linda Lyche

2013 Commodore

John Fredrick Lyche and First Mate Linda Renee Lyche

Commodore Career: Banking, Food Industry, Printing, Private and Public Investments, Commercial and Residential Real Estate

Commodore Date of Birth: 9.12.1950

Commodore Hometown: East Grand Forks, MN

Siblings in order: Charles Lyche, Barbara Langford Fourcault (deceased), (John),

Scott Lyche, Mary Lyche

First Mate Career: Full time Mom, Teacher, School Psychologist

First Mate Date of Birth: 7.30.1950

Hometown: Fargo, ND; Minot, ND

Siblings in order: (Linda O’Brien Lyche), Patricia O’Brien Dardis, Cynthia O’Brien Nimens

Children 1: Eric John Lyche (1978)
Spouse: Erin Suzanne Hawkins Lyche (1982)

Married: 2010

Grandchildren: Kasen John (2012), Sloane Elizabeth (2014), Margot Lynn (2016)

Children 2: Adam Christopher Lyche (1980)
Spouse: Deborah Lynn Pierson Lyche (1981)

Married: 2007

Grandchildren: Ian Christopher (2011), Colin David (2013), Grace Renee (2015)

Children 3: Jill Renee Kulig (1982)
Spouse: Paul Robert Kulig (1981)

Married: 2008

Grandchildren: Lucas Paul (2010), Leah Renee (2013), Jack Robert (2015)

Date of Marriage: 5.12.1972, Grand Forks, ND

How did you and your partner meet? Linda’s freshman college roommate at Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) was a high school classmate of John’s from East Grand Forks, MN. As a freshman John attended Moorhead

State College just 3 blocks down the street from

Concordia, so she introduced us. Linda knew when they met that John was the one for her, even though their first date was a bit of a disaster. They went their separate ways, but Linda made sure John stayed on her radar screen since she knew she was going to marry him when she finished college. John didn’t have a clue about this plan until much later.

Commodore Hobbies and Interests: Motorcycling, skiing, travel, adventure seeking, business.

Commodore Community Involvement: Education, Schools, Church, Junior Achievement, Youth Hockey,
Jay Cees, LaCrosse Symphony, LaCrosse Community Theatre / Weber Center, Riverfront, LADCO, Boy Scouts, Gundersen Medical Center and Foundation, Riverfest, Salvation Army, WTC, Valley View Rotary, United Way, Onalaska Community Development Authority (CDA), philanthropic support to the community.

First Mate Hobbies and Interests: Travel, motorcycle trips, skiing, biking, hiking, running, all outside activities, reading, cooking, community involvement, family activities.

First Mate Community Involvement: Education, Schools, Church, Youth Hockey, Family Children’s Center, WTC, World Services, United Way, Salvation Army, LaCrosse Community Theater, Riverfest, Gundersen Medical Foundation, RSVP, YMCA, philanthropic support to the community.

Interesting Family History: John’s paternal grandfather was the North Dakota State’s Attorney. The family had 12 children in 14 years and John’s father was the third youngest. When John’s grandmother died the youngest was 4, all of the older sisters took charge of one of the

younger siblings to raise. It was a very prolific family as John’s grandfather’s two brothers each had families of 18 children. However, John’s grandparents’ children only produced 14 children, 5 of which were from John’s family and two were adopted.

Linda’s paternal grandfather was born Fayette Lavern Gillespie in Beloit, WI. Prior to marrying Linda’s grandmother he had fathered a family of 3 children in the Madison area. He then changed his name to Patrick James O’Brien and moved to North Dakota to marry Linda’s Grandmother and had 7 children. He was very artistic, but also had a drinking problem. The Salvation Army was a good resource for the family during these times. Linda’s grandmother divorced him, and he moved to California where he fathered 3 more children. He died at the age of 43 years in a hotel fire in Minneapolis.

Tell the story of how you were asked to be a Commodore and First Mate: We were invited to share information about funding for the soon-to-be-constructed Weber Center / LaCrosse Community Theater in hopes of gaining support from the Commodores. They listened attentively and then surprised us by asking us to be the 2013 Commodore and First Mate.

One thing on your Bucket List: Family Time, Travel, Remaining Relevant, and Make sure to “Stop and Smell the Roses”.

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