Robert Dyckes, a developer who built thousands of homes during Long Island's postwar housing boom, has died at his Huntington home. He was 91.
Dyckes and business partner Andrew Monaco constructed subdivisions under the brand name New England Village in Commack, Hauppauge, Setauket, Greenlawn, Patchogue and Huntington. New England Village home buyers could visit model houses and choose one of several designs.
"He'd build three or four houses at the main entrance," said his son Paul Dyckes of Huntington. "You basically go in and pick your lot and the model," and customize it.
Paul Dyckes said his father died of complications from a stroke suffered two years ago.
Robert Dyckes was born on Oct. 9, 1923, and raised in Hollis, Queens. His son said Dyckes and his friends joined the armed forces shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941. Dyckes served as an Army Air Corps meteorologist preparing weather reconnaissance reports throughout the war, his son said.
After the war, Dyckes started selling and buying homes in Mill Basin, Brooklyn. Dyckes also sold insurance and married his partner's daughter, Jacqueline. The couple were married for 62 years and raised seven children.
In the early 1960s, Dyckes and Monaco started their real estate firm Pinewood with $100,000. The company built more than 3,000 homes for middle-income families as the Long Island suburbs expanded east into Smithtown and Brookhaven towns.
"He was a good businessman," he said. "He was hands-on, always there, always watching."
Paul Dyckes said his father loved traveling, was head usher at the Church of St. Patrick in Huntington, coached his children's sports teams, golfed and was an "exceptional bowler."
In addition to his wife and son Paul, survivors are daughters Amy Rutledge of Seattle, Carrie Nolte of Huntington, Diana Dyckes of Hoboken, New Jersey, Mickey of California and Marybeth of Florida; son Douglas of Huntington; brother Ira of Huntington; and 15 grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Jan. 7 at the Church of St. Patrick in Huntington. Burial was at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Huntington.