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John W. Koschmann

Posted: Sunday, April 06, 2008

Former Juneau resident John W. Koschmann died March 31, 2008, at his residence in Anchorage. He was 51.

Born Feb. 11, 1957, in Sitka, he was the son of Fred and Leona (Hukee) Koschmann. He was an Alaska resident all of his life, living in Sitka until 1964, when he moved to Juneau. He lived in Juneau until he was 20, when he moved to Anchorage.

He was of Inupiaq Eskimo and Aleut descent. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, the San Francisco Art Institute and the University of Alaska Native Arts Program.

At a young age, he spent many hours among the totems and in the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka, marveling at the artifacts and old photos. His parents began to encourage his interest and talent in the arts. They enrolled him in a tutored oil painting class when he was 10 years old.

He won a scholarship from the Institute of Alaska Native Arts to enroll in the Native Arts Program at the University Alaska Fairbanks and studied under Ron Senungetuk. Family said he was a talented artist, working in traditional Alaska Native styles. His work includes carving, masks, jewelry-making and sculpture. He worked primarily with wood, ivory, fur, baleen and bone. His artwork is presented in galleries in Anchorage and Seattle.

He is survived by his brothers, Victor Koschmann, of Ithaca, N.Y., and David Koschmann, of Gustavus; and sisters, Carol Dabney, of Claremont, Calif., and Connie Haas, of Milwaukee, Wis.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, at the Anchorage Funeral Home, 1800 Dare Ave., in Anchorage, with the Rev. Arthur Curtis officiating. Inurnment will be in Evergreen Washelli Cemetery in Seattle, Wash., at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, 500 West 6th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99510. Arrangements were made by the Anchorage Funeral Home.



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