Robert Ero Kutsi, 74
Breezy Point Robert Ero (Bob) Kutsi, age 74, of Breezy Point (formerly of Blue Earth) died Saturday afternoon at the Grand Rapids Hospital of complications due to a heart attack.
Bob was born in Moose Lake, on Sept. 27, 1937, to Ero Arvid Kutsi and Fonda (Lahti) Kutsi. Fonda died early in 1938 and Bob was taken care of by a variety of people; his father operated the Gamble’s store in Moose Lake.
In 1940, Ero married Anna Ropponen and the trio moved into a new home near the Moose Lake school where Bob attended first grade. In the summer of 1944 the family moved to Chicago where Ero worked for Douglas Aircraft. Bob attended second grade in Chicago and began third grade in Des Plains, Illinois, after the end of WWII in 1945. In October of that year the family returned to Moose Lake where Bob finished grade and high school; he was active in all areas of extracurricular: music, drama, sports and student government.
After graduating from Moose Lake in 1955 Bob attended UMD in Duluth and worked summers at the paper mill in Cloquet. Bob majored in speech and minored in English and physical education, doing his practice teaching at Hermantown High School and Ordean Junior High in Duluth.
The summer of 1959 was a busy one: Bob earned his B.S. degree; he married Carol Ann Peterson, also a graduate of Moose Lake; and signed a contract to teach English and speech in Foley. Robert and Tracy, two of their five children were born in Foley.
After four years the stay in Foley ended in 1963 as the family moved to Blue Earth where Bob’s teaching duties of English and speech resumed. Soon after, he was named boys’ golf coach; in 1977 girls’ golf was added to his duties. Colby, Jace and Tara, the other three children were born in Blue Earth. All five children had eleventh grade English from their father (“Have you finished your English assignment yet?”), and all five were out for golf at some time. Bob retired in 1994 after 35 years of teaching; he kept coaching girls through 1996 and boys through 1998. The two state championships for the boys (1993 and 1995) were instrumental in Bob’s being named “Coach of the Year” and later being inducted into the Minnesota Golf Coaches’ Hall of Fame.
Bob wore many “hats” in his attempt to augment his teaching and coaching salary: park worker, truck driver, swimming pool cleaner, school custodian, muffler installer, gas station attendant, carpenter, mason helper, radio announcer/DJ, golf instructor, home re-modeler, insurance salesman, motel manager, and bartender/waiter to name a few.
Robert Ero Kutsi is survived by his five children: Robert Parnell (Cindy) Kutsi, of Big Bay, Mich., Tracy Gaye Kutsi, of Blue Earth, Colby Ryan (Judy) Kutsi, of Mt. Home, Ark., Jace Dana (Nicole and her daughter Vayla) Kutsi, of Brooklyn Park, and Tara Leigh Kutsi, of Astoria, New York. Carol passed away in 2004.
Whether Bob was teaching or coaching or whatever, and whether you called him Kuts, Bob, Kootz, Papa, Dad, Ero, Babe, Miss Piggy, Kusi, Robert, or Mr. Kutsi, his friends and former students and golfers and family members would probably agree on one thing he always had fun. Bob’s body was donated to the University of Minnesota; he thought the hard-working medical students ought to have a few chuckles too.
The above obituary was written by Bob about a year and a half ago. He will truly be missed by his children and friends. “Buck that wind, Dad!”