May 22, 2024

“She was a wonderful woman.”

Roberta “Robbie” Kay Wyckoff, age 81, passed away on May 16, 2024, in Denver, Colorado, after a two-year fight with ovarian cancer. She was surrounded by her family and loved ones in the days preceding her death, including siblings, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and more.

On September 23, 1942, the world turned technicolor with the arrival of Roberta Kay, the first child to be born of parents Robert and Katie Wigham in Powell, Wyoming. She quickly became the oldest sibling as Nancy (1943) followed only fifteen months behind. Over a decade later, brothers Tom and Bill joined the Wigham family party, and Robbie truly adopted her nurturing role.

While the family lived across the front range of the Rockies between Wyoming and Colorado, they settled in Sterling for Robbie’s high school career. Here she fostered her talents as an incredible saxophone player and contributed meaningfully to the school’s concert band, even going to Chicago to perform.

It was on one of these trips where she and some of her fellow band members snuck out of their hotel one night to go to a piano bar, where they caught Jerry Lee Lewis in concert. In her words, “He was all over the piano and kind of playing like a crazy guy.” Robbie went on to play her saxophone at any event where she was invited, including at her 80th birthday party. She loved music and loved showing off her saxy skills just as much.

It was in Sterling at the tail end of her high school career that Robbie met the love of her life Reginald Allen Wyckoff (1940). After their plan for a double-date went askew, the two decided to meet up without their counterparts, and thus began a whirlwind romance that had the pair getting married on June 4, 1961. 63 years, 3 kids, 8 grandkids, and 2 great-grandkids have all stemmed from their union, and how lucky we are to have their example.

Throughout their marriage, Reggie and Robbie embarked on innumerable adventures, the two of them tackling everything together. From running a preschool to traveling the world, they had a partnership like no other. In the span of their marriage, they visited over 11 countries and nearly all 50 states.

Robbie made everyone she came across feel like family. Neighbors, friends, colleagues, students—everyone had a seat at Robbie’s kitchen table for coffee, breakfast, and a little morning story time. Even in her final days, she made a point to ask everyone’s names. After a little fall at her home in Limon, Robbie asked the paramedics helping her up what their names were. One young lady even said, “Mrs. Wyckoff was my teacher!”

Roberta was an educator for more than 50 years, teaching pre-school through college-aged students all about math. With a dual degree in early childhood education and mathematics from Metro State University, Robbie pursued her education and the education of others with a passion that is unmatched, earning both her masters degree and principal’s license in the early-to-mid point of her career.

In the earliest aughts of her time as an educator, Robbie ran a daycare out of the family home before transitioning to being the owner/operator of the Happy Valley Children’s Ranch Preschool for nearly 5 years. It was while operating that daycare that Robbie took her 1967 Chevy Impala full of 14 kids—7 bigs and 7 littles—to the grocery store. Only Robbie could have handled such a bunch.

After their time in Denver, the family moved east to the Wyckoff Farm, and it was here that Robbie’s educator chops were refined as she tackled teaching math to middle and high school students. With ten years at Genoa plus twenty years at Woodlin plus five years in Limon plus even more years at Colorado Digital Learning Solutions…the math goes on and on. She served as a teacher, administrator, mentor, and friend to hundreds and thousands of students and colleagues across her 50+ year career.

While Robbie officially resigned from teaching on May 10, 2024, she originally retired from the classroom in the 2010s and moved her educating online, so she could enjoy snowbirding with Reggie in Texas and Arizona. Robbie could frequently be found on a golf course for tee time, under an awning for happy hour, or at a card table for a riotous game of Social Security with friends. She was the most beautiful social butterfly.

Even though Robbie retired from her illustrious career as an educator, she was always a caretaker, specifically for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Kicking parenthood off in 1962 was first daughter Leigh Shavon. Five years later, on Reggie’s 27th birthday, came Amy Lynn; and following his sisters was Josh Allen, born 4 days before the lunar landing in 1969. Robbie became a grandmother eight times over the span of 17 years with Cory, Kayla, Kelsey, Zoe, Ty, Tia, Shae, and Jackson, and a great-grandmother twice with the arrival of Malcolm and Myles. Robbie loved being a grandmother, and Reggie likes to say the only time he didn’t have to wait for Robbie to get in the car was when they were on their way to meet her first grandchild.

Robbie enjoyed spending holidays at the farm and never missed a birthday, graduation, or wedding. Everything was an adventure, and there was magic in all that Robbie touched.

In addition to her love of family, Robbie had a deeply personal connection to her Savior and found great comfort in her devotion to the Lord. On the 14th of May, only two days before she passed, Robbie found it imperative for me to read one of her favorite verses to anyone that entered her hospital room: Galatians 5: 22-23. We can all aspire to embody these traits as diligently and gracefully as Robbie did.

Services to celebrate Roberta’s life will be held on Saturday, May 25th at 2 p.m. at the Limon Methodist Church at 770 B. Avenue in Limon, Colorado. Donations may be made in Robbie’s name to the Special Olympics of Colorado.