Bob was born July 12, 1934 in Minneapolis, MN. Baptized at Calvary Lutheran Church on August 26, 1934 and confirmed in the Lutheran faith on June 5, 1949 at Calvary Lutheran Church of Minneapolis, MN. In 1952 Bob graduated from Minnehaha Academy on his way to Gustavus Adolphus College where he started the pep band and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music education. In 1966 Bob received his Master of Arts degree in Music Education from Mankato State. In 1957 Bob fulfilled his civic duty in the United States Army at Fort Ord in California, serving in the Army Band. The consistent theme of Bob’s life was his devoted faith and voice in the expression of music. Remaining humble and kind, Bob shared his voice of music in educating young minds and combined that with his deep faith in directing music worship in many congregations. Strong in faith, humble in spirit, Bob taught music education for 40 years. His lifelong passion continued as a 33 year member of Medalist Concert Band and 28 year member of the St. Andrew’s Choir and St. Andrew’s Orchestra. As a Mercedes-Benz enthusiast, during retirement Bob enjoyed not only being a customer but part of a valet team of retirees for Mercedes Benz of St. Paul.
On June 9, 1957 Bob married the love of his life, Elizabeth (Bette) Kocourek. The Gustavus football and basketball cheerleader, one year his junior, caught his eye and while his buddies set him up for the ask of a first date (saying they knew her and truly did not) left Ms. Kocourek, upon returning to her dorm after the first date, sharing with her friends it was love at first sight! Five years later they would wed as husband and wife at Zion Lutheran Church in Hopkins, MN. It was the beginning of a beautiful love story that would include three children, spouses, grandchildren and a long life together filled with faith, family, devotion, love and commitment. The last 30 years of Bob’s faith was celebrated alongside Bette as members of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN. In October of 2020, Bob was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. While Bob deteriorated fast the disease did not take his love and devotion for Bette, nor did it take his abiding faith, nor his love of music. Surrounded by family, music, love, peacefulness and faith, Bob passed away while in hospice care at home. While Alzeimer’s disease is described as “the long goodbye” we see the many blessings of life Bob shared with us right to the time of his passing including when a red cardinal flew in front of the window in front of his bed. Music was his voice, love, joy, craft and life - a gift he shared with us all right to his last breath. To this we say; “Well done, good and faithful servant.” At age 87 in Stillwater, MN, Bob passed away peacefully on June 20, 2022.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years; Elizabeth (Bette) Villesvik, children; James Villesvik, Jon Villesvik, Juli Villesvik Baecker (Joachim), grandchildren; Bjorn Villesvik (Rachel), Nicholas Johnson (Natasha), Zachary Johnson (Chiara), Anders Villesvik, Mari De Tora (Giuseppe). His beloved sister; Carol Weston (Tom). Sisters-in-laws; Lorrayne Conley and Pat Kocourek, many cherished nieces and nephews, as well as cousins, extended relatives and friends.
Celebration of Life will be held on July 27, 2022 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN. Visitation at 1:00pm, service at 2:00pm, interment at 3:00pm with dessert reception to follow.
A livestream of the service will be available beginning at 1:40pm at https://control.resi.io/webplayer/video.html?id=ea98a04e-f2ba-46f5-a03c-8fa1b2c7e003
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church/Mission Slovakia - Ukrainian Relief and/or The Alzheimer’s Association