Leona Koschmann


Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Longtime Alaska resident Leona Virginia Koschmann, 92, died Aug. 29, 2006, in Seattle.

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Born on June 8, 1914, in Winger, MInn., she was the seventh of eight children born to Severt and Julia Hukee. After receiving her teacher's certificate, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Fertile, Minn., before joining her two older sisters teaching in Alaska.

She married a fellow educator, Fred B. Koschmann, in 1942. Their first teaching position as a married couple was during World War II in Unga, Alaska, on the Aleutian chain.

Over the next 36 years, she taught classes from kindergarten to high school chemistry in various locations in Alaska, including Fairbanks, Anchorage, Sitka and Juneau.

"Teaching was her passion, and she was very good at it," family members said. "She was particularly known as a fine reading teacher and for the extent to which she included music in the classroom. During her life, she taught thousands of children to read."

She played many musical instruments, including the ukulele, harmonica, piano, clarinet and trumpet. While in Sitka, she taught English as a second language. When living in Juneau, she taught Head Start.

After her husband went to Presbyterian seminary, the couple served churches in Othello, Wash., and Fairbanks, and later combined church work and education at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka.

According to her family, "Her faith was very important to her, and she generously contributed to many charities."

She was preceded in death by her husband in 1999.

She is survived by five grown children, Vic Koschmann, of Ithaca, N.Y., Carol Dabney, of Claremont, Calif., Connie Hass of Milwaukee, Wis., Dave "Fritz" Koschmann, of Gustavus, and John Koschmann, of Anchorage.; seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Sept. 3 at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Seattle.

In her memory, memorial donations are suggested to: Salvation Army National Headquarters, P.O. Box 269 Alexandria, VA, 22313. To contact the family, call her granddaughter, Cathy Philips, at (206) 362 6433, or write to 10541 14th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA, 98177.

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