Faces in the Crowd
Ryan Dykstra: Maintenance worker for Lynden Parks and Rec
February 17, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.
Lived here for: 40 years
Originally from: Lynden
Notable: Maintenance worker for Lynden Parks and Recreation Department; husband, father, basketball official and volunteer basketball, fastpitch softball and football coach.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Lynden?
I just really enjoy even running into people and talking for a little while, and you don’t get that in a bigger city. I really do enjoy all the interactions I get to have with everybody every day, and that social aspect of it. I just really appreciate that part of Lynden.
How long have you been volunteer coaching?
Oh, boy. The basketball reffing thing has been 20 years, and the coaching probably has been about as much. I didn’t really get into basketball coaching until about my late 20s, but basketball reffing was right after high school.
As far as fastpitch coaching, it’s probably been almost 20 years between Lynden Christian and Lynden [high schools]. It’s kind of one of those things where it started as one thing and snowballed into everything.
What inspires you to volunteer as much of your time as you do?
It was 2011, so about 12 years ago, my mom passed away. She was very involved in our church growing up and had a day care for little kids that she ran out of our house when I was growing up. She just really, really loved helping people, and I honestly think I got that from her. She just really wanted to be there to serve people, and she kind of instilled that in me as a kid — my dad as well, but more my mom.
The other one would be Jerry Kok. He passed away last winter, but he always was always about others … He kind of did this stuff that I’m doing before I did it.
What do you enjoy most about your job with the Parks Department?
The guys I get to work with. We have such a fun group of guys. You know how you have one of those jobs, and you go to work every day and it doesn’t feel like work? That’s what it feels like for me because we just get along so well together.
What’s your favorite part of the day?
When I get home from practice and I see my kids and my wife, and just knowing I’ve got someone waiting there for me when I come home.
[My family] is the ones that have to put up with me being involved as much as I am, and they’re the ones that pick up the slack for me doing all this stuff. I really could not do it if I didn’t have that support system.
What do you like to do when you’re not working or coaching?
I like watching [my] kids do things … I really enjoy spending time with them and watching them compete in things and learn things and grow.
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