Donald Robert Hysko, born October 9, 1937, passed away August 23, 2023.
Don’s parents were Helen and Dominick Hysko of Providence, Rhode Island. Their heritage was Polish. Through his school years he attended Moses Brown school and graduated as vice president of the class of 1955, class treasurer and vice president of Theta Delta Chi.
He was also president of Providence Country Club and president of the YMCA and rotary.
He got a degree in economics from Tufts, a degree in communications from Boston University and a law degree from Suffolk Law Boston.
After all this education, he returned to Providence to help the multiple businesses of his father and ran the radio stations, Kodak film stores and a coal yard.
He is survived by his brother, Dennis, and 3 of his children, Heather, Steven (Lisa), and David.
Don’s passion for architectural history inspired him in 1976 to purchase the abandoned Israel Arnold House built in 1695 by the family of Benedict Arnold and he worked closely for 2 years with Antoinette Downing, the foremost expert of history in New England, and it still is the oldest private home in the state, and a historical landmark.
He developed culinary quality char wood and taught at Johnson and Wales, CIA, and Capazana in Italy. He traveled the nation teaching grilling and smoking and had 7,000 accounts for his unique charwood and worked with some of the nation’s greatest chefs. His signature item was pizza on the grill.
In 1995 he joined with Julia Child to start the Rhode Island chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food, and in 1998 she introduced Pat and Don at a national AIWF board meeting in Denver.
They shuttled between Providence and Wichita for 3 years so he could manage his businesses and she could be the US mother for her 3 “Zim Kids” going to KU.
In 2001 they married in Wichita, then Key West and a finale in Zimbabwe, and moved to Wichita in 2005 to start a new chapter of life. No matter where he was, Don had a fantastic sense of humor. He was a man for all seasons. Unique in all the world.
There will be no funeral, and in lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established with the Hysko Rainy Day Fund for International Students, PO Box 65, Baldwin City, KS 66006. Services by Cozine Memorial Group – Broadway Mortuary.