Obituary: Robert Conde Utzinger

Posted at 1:42 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 15:42:51-04

Robert Conde Utzinger, 88, passed away peacefully on May 15, 2022, at his Bozeman residence in Aspen Pointe with family at his side.

Architect and educator, husband, father, and grandpa, with an insatiable passion for learning, traveling, fly fishing, skiing, photography, and football, Bob was born in Rock Springs, WY, to Robert L. and Marguerite Kugal Utzinger on January 9, 1934. He attended school in Rock Springs and Roswell, NM, going on to Stanford University and the University of Colorado for degrees in business and architectural engineering. He later earned a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan and the National Professional License and architectural licenses in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. He also was a licensed professional engineer in Wyoming and Colorado.

Bob met Karin Linnea Mikkelsen while skiing at Aspen during semester break at the University of Colorado in Boulder. They were wed June 17, 1958, in Lewistown’s First Methodist Church, a marriage that lasted until his death one month before their 64th anniversary. The couple has three children, Kirk (Kellie) Utzinger, Jeanne (Mark) Knox, and Tia Utzinger (Robert Rhoades); and six grandchildren, Kole and Karson Utzinger, Clara and Nina Maseman, and Morgan and Allison Rhoades.

Buoyed by his adventuresome spirit, Bob served out his military obligation as an officer in the U.S. Navy, earning an honorable discharge as Lieutenant. He had a private architectural practice and shared his love for architecture and learning as an educator and administrator. He loved working with the students and enjoyed their successes while in university and beyond. He also served on the Exam Writing Committee of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) (1983-1992) and President and Member of the Montana Board of Architects (1983-1992) under both Democratic and Republican administrations. He earned numerous awards and honors for teaching, administering and architectural design. Bob enjoyed several travel fellowships, including one two-month stint in Northern Europe, living with his wife and three small children (including a four-month-old baby) in a Volkswagen camper while he studied European facilities for small children.

He taught design and served as Director of Architecture at the University of Colorado in Boulder and Denver (1973-1979), then Professor and Director of the School of Architecture at Montana State University (1979-1990) before taking the reins as the interim Dean of the School of Arts and Architecture (1988-1989). He turned down the invitation to continue in that role so he could enjoy family, friends, travel, and outdoor activities.

His community involvements included serving on the executive boards of the Bridger Bowl (member and president), Bozeman Symphony Society, and on several church and community boards. Together Bob and Karin traveled extensively, visiting some 50-odd countries; Bob also enjoyed traveling with each of his children.

He is survived by his wife, Karin; their three children and spouses; and the six grandchildren.

Memorials are appreciated to the American Prairie Foundation (P.O. Box 908, Bozeman, MT 59771) or the Robert C. Utzinger Scholarship through MSU’s School of Architecture (P.O. Box 173760, Bozeman, MT 59717).

A Memorial Service will be held at 10 A.M. on Friday, June 17, 2022, at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.