John Roger Koschin, age 76 of Independence, passed unexpectedly Monday May 21, 2018 at his home from natural causes. He was born Jan. 2, 1942 in Berwyn, Ill to John and Isabel (McClure) Koschin. After a brief residence in Belton, Mo. His family and half-brother Clifford moved to Independence in 1947.
John attended Independence schools and graduated from Independence High School in 1960. He eventually graduated from Independence Community College in 1969. John continued his education at Pittsburg State University, receiving a Bachelor’s of Science and a Masters in 1971. He continued his post -graduate work at Kansas State University, University of Kansas and the University of Virginia.
Upon his graduation from college, John was employed with Automotive Control Corporation as a chief industrial engineer and manager of construction. In 1978, he was employed by Associated Engineers, Inc. as a project engineer. He continued his engineering career with LaForge Construction Contracting, Inc. as a project manager. In 1988 John accepted employment with the US Army as a civil engineer and federal contracting officer. He was relocated to Topeka and returned to Independence in 1995where he was employed by Hofer and Hofer, Inc. In Humboldt as an operations administrator until 2000. His final employment came with Cornerstone Surveying of Kansas and Oklahoma with his retirement in 2002.
John served for 33 years in the Army National Guard, US Army Reserve and US Army until his retirement from the US Army in 2002 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1966, he married Karen Jane Ross from Oak Valley, Kan. They later divorced in 1990. Survivors include one brother, Clifford Wathne, Wichita, Kan. And one first cousin, Janice McClure (Briggs), Bartlesville, OK, formerly of Independence, Kan.
John enjoyed providing architectural and engineering designs for clients in the Independence area. He has designed many beautiful homes in the Independence, Kansas City and Grand Lake areas. As well as being gifted in many fields of engineering and design, he was an accomplished musician and vocalist, having performed at numerous venues in the Independence and Topeka areas. He produced several albums of his music. He produced a historical documentary DVD on The Last Ride about the Union Traction Company (Interurban Railway).
His reputation as a photographer excelled throughout the years as he was asked by organizations and individuals to provide his talent. He was a member of the Independence Planning and Zoning board, Park and Zoo board, the Independence Historical Preservation and Resources commission, Independence Historical Museum and Arts Center board of directors, a past president of FORPAZ (Friends of Riverside Park and Zoo), and co-coordinator of the Independence photography club.
John was recognized by the president of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka for his overall coordination of the relocation of the North Wea Creek bridge for Miami County Kansas. The Governor of Kansas recognized him for the design and managing of construction of MacLennan Park at Cedar Crest, Topeka. The Governor of Kentucky appointed John to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (Kentucky’s highest honor) for outstanding assistance and support to the Kentucky Army National Guard. The Commander of the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment, Fulda, Germany, appointed him to a life-time honorary member of the Blackhorse Border Legion. John was appointed as an honorary member of the Kansas Coyotes by the Commander of the 190th Air Refueling group.
Funeral services for John will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Webb & Rodrick Chapel, 306 W. Main St., Independence. Donations can be made to the Independence Historical Museum and Art Center.
John was one of the most interesting and delightful persons I've ever met. His laugh was unique to him, but readily shared with others. The world will be a less happy place without John
W. Christopher JonesDenver, CO
Always loved talking to John! So very sorry for your loss.
Lauri ZimmermanIndependence, KS