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John W. Kosterman, 61, passed away peacefully at his residence after a courageous fight with Pancreatic Cancer. John was born Dec. 7, 1951 to Gloria D. Kosterman (nee Armbruster) and the late Wesley Cain. John was later adopted by Lawrence R. Kosterman who married Gloria in 1957. John's early life was spent growing up in Racine and he graduated from William Horlick High School in 1970. He enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps shortly after graduation and completed recruit training in California in Sept. 1970. After additional training, he went on to serve in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. John continued to serve in the Marines, eventually serving more than 20 years. He served in a number of duty assignments including recruiting duty in Michigan and at Marine Barracks, Concord, California. He also served in several assignments overseas and eventually retired in Oct. 1990 as a first sergeant. In October 1978, he was united in marriage to Gabrielle J. Melson, who was born and raised in Novato, California. Gabrielle was serving in the Marine Corps in New Orleans, La. when they met and married. After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1990, they moved back to Racine to raise their family. John was hired by the State of Wisconsin in 1991 to work as a correctional officer. He promoted to Correctional Sergeant and was then selected to serve as Probation and Parole Officer. In June 1996, he was selected to attend the State Patrol Academy. He graduated and was assigned to work in Racine County as a State Motor Carrier Inspector. He was then assigned to a State Patrol Trooper position in Racine County in 1998. He continued in this capacity until his retirement in Aug. 2011. He was twice awarded life saving medals during his career. John's many hobbies and pursuits were in sports. He not only participated in sports, he coached several military teams to local and regional titles in basketball, football, and softball. He worked as a softball umpire and basketball referee for more than 20 years. He was a member of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, the Racine Lakeshore Officials Association, the Belle City Officials Association, the Southeast Fastpitch Umpiring Association, and the Metro Milwaukee Fastpitch Umpire Association. Along with working as an umpire or referee, John's other passion in life was golfing. He would golf whenever and as often as possible. He participated in many sports while in high school and later in the Marine Corps. John graduated from Carthage College in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice (Magna Cum Laude). He was also named to the National College Honor Scholarship Society, Alpha Chi upon graduation. He went on to obtain his substitute teaching license from the State of Wisconsin and worked as a substitute teacher for Racine Unified School District for 6 years. John is survived by his loving wife Gabrielle and his four children, Linda Kosterman , Andrew Kosterman and his wife (Hyun ju ), Erica Kosterman and Samantha Kosterman. He is further survived by his two grandchildren, Ashley Seo Bin Kosterman and Ryan Jay Min Kosterman. He is also survived by his sister Susan (James) Gottfredsen, brother Jerome (Mary Alice (McEnulty), sister Margaret Henzig, and brother Timothy Kosterman. He is also survived by his mother Gloria D. Kosterman. He was preceded in death by his father Lawrence R. Kosterman. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and other relatives. John was a devoted husband for more than 34 years to Gabrielle, who was the love of his life. He was a devoted father, Marine, and State Police Officer. He believed that there was no better way of life than to give back to his country and his State. Complete funeral services will be held in the funeral home at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 followed by military honors. Visitation will begin at 12 noon. Memorials to Wisconsin State Trooper Association, or the Disabled American Veterans. Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home and Crematory 4600 County Line Road Racine, WI 53403 262-552-9000 www.draeger-langendorf.com
Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home & Crematory
4600 County Line Rd. Racine, WI 53403
Published in Racine Journal Times on Apr. 16, 2013