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“Poker Bob” Reflects on Memories, Regrets and Helping Hands

When Bob Dovichak ’69 had to get his wisdom teeth out, for some reason, he decided to get it done in State College rather than in his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. He had surgery the day after classes ended and most everyone had returned home for the break. Of course, after surgery, you can’t drive five hours home, so Dovichak ’69 went back to the House to rest and recuperate before making the trek home the next day. A couple of Brothers were in the House when he returned. Understanding Dovichak ’69 wouldn’t be able to leave until the following day, they stuck around the House to make sure he recovered well enough to drive home in the morning. They postponed their own breaks in order to help a Brother.

“One of the greatest times of my life,” Dovichak ’69 says. “Everyone, without exception, got along and helped each other.”

Dovichak ’69 highlights the helpful nature of the Brothers in several memories. Well before he got his wisdom teeth out, when he first came to campus, he found a camaraderie with the Brothers of Kappa Sigma who introduced him to the campus and showed him around. They helped him find his bearings on campus and set him up with priceless friendships.

Those friendships led to ten-hour poker nights with Mike Griffith (“Griffy”) and James Clark (“Clarkey”) along with a couple of other regulars. Those nights hold a lot of memories for Dovichak ’69. Three nights a week they gathered at Futura Bar where Dovichak ‘69 was a bartender. It’s where he earned the nickname “Poker Bob.”

“One of the greatest times of my life,” Dovichak ’69 says.“Everyone, without exception, got along and helped each other.”

Dovichak ’69 was not just a bartender in school. He was a hard worker and well-rounded even as a new student. He paid his way through Penn State by working three jobs over the summers and on breaks. While he arrived at Penn State self-sufficient and self-assured, it was the fraternity that gave him personal relationships and lasting memories.

His hard-working personality meant Dovichak ’69 also excelled in his school work. As a communications major, he developed a mentorship relationship with Art Hungerford, the head of the communications department at Penn State, who was also one of his professors. Hungerford set him up with some interviews after graduation and helped him get a job with Forward Communications where he worked for 13 years.

After graduation, Dovichak ’69 only returned once – in the early 70s – to the Penn State campus. He has spent the last 35 years in Wilmington, NC just eight miles from the beach. While it was a small town when he arrived, it has changed immensely – much like he imagines Penn State has.

We are saddened to know that Dovichak ’69 has been diagnosed with stage four cancer. It’s left him with a lot to deal with in his final days. He regrets not being able to make it back for more events or stay in touch with his Brothers and he would love to hear from some of the guys who were also there 1965 – 1969. He keeps up with the newsletters and enjoys reading about the current state of fraternity.

We’d like to encourage anyone with words of encouragement or support for Dovichak ’69 to reach out to this Brother who has such fond memories, as we all do, of his days at Kappa Sig. We offer our deepest sympathies to Dovichak ’69 and his family as they navigate this challenging season of life.

If you want to reach out to Dovichak ’69 you can email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.