13th Man Foundation Mourns Loss of Bob Laycoe
Bob Laycoe, 73, Thunderbirds Class of 1969, who played football for the Thunderbirds and wrestled, too, has died.
Dr. Bryan Laycoe, his twin brother – both graduated from Portland’s Cleveland High School, Bryan went on to L&C and OHSU Medical School – said Bob “died (Dec. 28. 2020) …from complications of his Parkinson's Disease in local hospital in Canada.”
He said, “Family may decide on celebration of life in spring when Covid is under control.”
Survivors include Suzanne, Bob’s wife of 52 years, and their children, David and Tonya and granddaughter Stevie, all in British Colombia; brother Bryan in Ridgefield, Washington, and sister Rhonda in Portland.
Here is Bob’s obituary provided by Bryan on behalf of the Laycoe family.
ROBERT RICHARDSON “BOB” LAYCOE
Bob Laycoe, legendary sports figure, died suddenly on December 28th, 2020, from complications from cumulative traumatic encephalopathy and secondary Parkinson’s disease. His family was at his side in hospital in Penticton, British Columbia. His Parkinson’s had progressed over decades. He was 73.
Bob and his parents, Hal and Marjorie, and the Laycoe family were amongst a group of Canadians who came to Portland in the summer of 1960. Hal, coached the new Portland Buckaroos Hockey team for 9 years. During that time these Canadians had the best record in professional hockey.
Bob, identical twin Bryan and their sister, Rhonda, attended Portland’s Cleveland High. Bob thrived on contact sports. At Cleveland he played football for Coach Gene Flippin and wrestled for Coach Don York. Success followed him.
He went on To Linfield College and played for the football Wildcats under Coach Paul Durham. He also wrestled.
Upon graduation in 1968 he married Suzanne Lind and moved to Vancouver, BC. He Mastered (1969) in Kinesiology and played another year of football for the Thunderbirds at University of British Columbia. He also won 4 Canadian Titles in wrestling.
Bob went into football coaching with Frank Smith at UBC, from 1973 to 1987, winning two National Championships. He was in Vancouver while his father, Hal, coached the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL. Eventually he and Sue went to Toronto to coach the University of Toronto “Varsity Blues” from 1988 to 2002. He won another National Championship (Vanier Cup) in 1993. His motto for his teams was posted to inspire when they went onto the field, “Remember Who You Are.”
When his neurological disorder forced his early retirement they moved to the Okanagan in British Columbia. He enjoyed fishing and art work and his family.
Hall of Fame Awards followed him from Cleveland High to Linfield, to University of British Columbia and to University of Toronto. The Frank Smith and Bob Laycoe Varsity Training Facility was established at UBC.
Bob is survived by his wife of 52 years, Suzanne and children David and Tonya and granddaughter Stevie in British Colombia, brother Bryan in Ridgefield, Washington, and sister Rhonda in Portland.
No phone calls please.
However, if you wish to send condolence cards and notes to Bob’s wife, use address:
107 Taggart Crescent
RR1 Site 206
Emails to Suzanne Laycoe, Bob’s wife, to address:
To contact Bob’s brother, Bryan Laycoe, use address: