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John vanEss Koman

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iconHARDY VA - John vanEss Koman, "Jack", 94, of Hardy, Virginia, formerly of Yorktown and Newport News, Virginia, passed away March 11, 2013. He was born February 6, 1919 in Southampton, Long Island, New York to Cornelius John and Ethel Sawyer Koman. Jack found his talent and love of music at an early age, playing banjo on the radio at age 6 and he pursued this calling throughout his life. Proficient on many different instruments and in many different musical styles from classical to jazz, he studied at the Ernest Williams School in New York and at the University of Michigan. Jack joined the United States Army Band, "Pershing's Own" in 1941 and traveled to Europe with the band during WWII, routinely playing venues where the President and generals met with dignitaries. After the war and after retiring from the Army, he and his first wife, Anne Singleton Koman, lived on a series of three boats while he pursued a new career as a freelance writer. For a time, he was mentored by Aldous Huxley. After moving ashore, Jack and Anne raised their four children in Yorktown while he worked as a technical writer at the Naval Weapons Station. He also began teaching music, primarily brass and piano, to many fortunate private students, as well as teaching brass instruments at the College of William and Mary. After retiring from civil service, Jack developed a love of computers in the early years of home computers and he became a freelance writer, programmer and technician in the home computer and small business field. Jack moved to Newport News in the 1980's and after the death of his second wife, Annabel Boozer Koman in 2011, he moved to Hardy, VA. Jack is survived by his four children, Dirk V. Koman (Elsie) of Coronado, CA, Anne K. Hunt (George) of Rocky Mount, VA, Jan S. Koman (Kathy) of Newport News, and Joel S. Koman (Linda) of Paso Robles, CA, seven grandchildren, Allison Lampley, George Hunt, III, Courtney Mozo, Dana Koman, Colin Koman, Nikki Woods, and Sean Ditmars, as well as thirteen great-grandchildren. Jack Koman was a man who followed his Bliss. Music became magical under his fingertips or when a mouthpiece met his lips. Words became music when they flowed from his mouth or his pen. He loved many things: music, reading, writing, sailing, his wives, his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, learning and teaching, traveling, cooking, everything French, good conversation, philosophy, bourbon and cigarettes. He was an interested and an interesting man and people were drawn to him by the intellect that radiated from him. He will be remembered and missed by all who loved him. To friends, family and all who share this wonderful life: "To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man." …. Wm. Shakespeare "Follow your bliss." …. Joseph Campbell A memorial service will be held at Yorkminster Presbyterian Church on Saturday March 16th at 3pm. Expressions of condolence may be made to any PBS or NPR broadcasting station. Conner-Bowman Funeral Home in Rocky Mount, VA served the family.
Published in Daily Press on Mar. 15, 2013
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