Rollie Ray Bestor

January 31, 2019


With profound sadness we announce the passing of Rollie, our loving and devoted husband, father and friend to all whose lives he touched, on January 27, 2019. He left us while peacefully sleeping.

Born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to Ray and Dorothy Bestor, Rollie entered the world with grit and determination that would serve him well his entire 87 years.

From the very beginning, his athletic prowess was evident and he excelled in virtually every sport in which he participated, from football, track, basketball, hockey, diving, racquetball, and later, skiing. When injuries sidelined his promising football career at the University of Wisconsin, he turned to a new sport, diving, and in short order he found himself on a trajectory that led him to the 1956 Olympic trials.

Upon returning from serving his country in the Korean Conflict, Rollie turned to coaching and found much the same success as he did as a competing athlete. His Waukesha High School swimming team became a dynasty winning 8 state championships. After a brief stint as football and swim coach at Adams State College, the family moved to Utah and he began his long tenure at Brigham Young University as a diving coach, racquetball and ski instructor, as well as teaching a number of physical education courses. Eventually, he was elevated to be the director of ten non-NCAA sports at the university (helping elevate the volleyball, soccer, rugby and other programs to national prominence.) It was at BYU that he also received his doctorate degree in education.

Having been raised by a trumpet-playing father and his pianist mother, music was Rollie’s other passion and, after a long day of coaching, he could often be found lying on the floor listening to Dave Brubeck, Herb Alpert, or the Four Freshman. His interest in singing led to a life-long love of barbershop-style music and he performed with a quartet of singing professors “The Candidates” as well as starting and running a successful program of college barbershop singing groups at BYU.

Rollie and his family were converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1976. His faithfulness was evident as he served in many church callings as well as serving two full time missions with his wife Phyllis. Rollie cared and served others all of his life.

Even more than his athletic and career successes, his four children, Kurt (Petrina), Jill (Ron), Carrie (Lon) and John (Chris) remember most fondly their father’s quirky humor, his unique hobbies of collecting pennies and odd antiques, canning fruit, and feeding birds and his undying devotion to his wife of 66 years, Phyllis. Their example of eternal love and mutual adoration will always be an example to their 18 grandchildren and 38 great grandchildren.

Rollie was preceded in death by his parents, sister Beverly, and son John.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Legacy Village and Brighton Hospice for their kind and professional treatment of Rollie in his final days.

Funeral Services will be Saturday February 2, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. in the Sharon Stake Center 545 South 800 East, Orem. Friends may visit with the family on Friday February 1, 2019 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. or Saturday February 2, 2019 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Both visitations will be held at the Sharon Stake Center 545 South 800 East, Orem.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made through the Alpine School District Foundation in Rollie Bestor’s name: foundation.alpineschools.org.

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