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Dr. Edwin C. Kuser

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Dr. Edwin C. Kuser Obituary
DR. EDWIN C. KUSER, 73, FORMERLY OF BOYERTOWN Dr. Edwin C. Kuser, 73, of Willow Street, Pennsylvania, formerly of Boyertown, Pennsylvania, passed away Sunday, November 25, 2012. He and his wife, Shirley DeTurk (nee Kline) Kuser, were residents of the Willow Valley Retirement Communities. A native of Boyertown born April 27, 1939, he lived as a child in Bechtelsville with his parents Melvin S. and Virginia [DeLong] Kuser. He was a 1957 honor graduate of the Boyertown Area High School. A BS in Business Education was earned at Bloomsburg State College where he was a member of three professional fraternities, president of the Varsity Lettermen, Senior Class President, and an honor graduate. Following graduation from Bloomsburg State College in 1961, he returned to Boyertown Area Senior High School as a business education teacher. During his teaching years he served as advisor to the Class of 1964, was named Business Department Chairperson, and was elected president of the Boyertown Area Education Association. In 1965, he was appointed Assistant to the Principal in the senior high school, and was named acting Principal and then Principal in 1971, serving until 1988. He was then appointed Director of Pupil Services where he served until his retirement in 1997. His formal education also included attendance at Lehigh University, plus both a Masters Degree in Business Education (1965) and a Doctorate in Educational Administration (1977) from Temple University. During Dr. Kuser's service in Boyertown more than 7,000 students received diplomas bearing his signature as high school principal, including his two children. As principal, he was a strong supporter of the arts to round out sound and effective academic, vocational and special education programs. It was during his term that television and computer education were added to the curriculum, library services were expanded, numerous accelerated academic programs were instituted and the school began the sponsorship of a chapter of National Honor Society. In the mid seventies the number of students electing to continue their education beyond high school shifted from a minority to a majority of the graduates. Beyond the local school, he served the profession as an evaluator for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, chairing eight committees in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. He also assisted in the field testing of a comprehensive evaluation plan for K-12 programs. Dr. Kuser's service to education was recognized by inclusion in the 1996 Edition of Who's Who in American Education. While principal, the practice of taking foreign language student trips abroad was expanded and European trips undertaken by the music department. In 1975, he assisted Band Director Arlen Saylor in planning the first European trip by a Boyertown High School Marching Unit when more than 120 students traveled and performed behind the Iron Curtain in Romania. That was followed by trips to Germany and also to England, France and Belgium. Dr. Kuser was privileged to place a wreath at the Arche de Triumphe in Paris, when the Marching Unit became the first public high school band to perform at this landmark. Never considering himself an athlete, Dr. Kuser was proud to have his name included on the trophy as a member of the 1957 Berks County Championship Baseball Team and of his involvement with athletics as a school administrator. He was instrumental in changing the status of the Booster's Club to an affiliate of the school; the addition of wrestling and several other sports to the offerings of the school; the establishment of the office of Athletic Director; the addition of trainers; the expansion of the athletic fields; and especially his behind the scenes role in planning the development of Bear Stadium. While principal, he also served as president of the ChesMont League. While serving as Director of Pupil Services, nursing service was expanded to provide full-time coverage at all the schools. Also, the special education program was brought from the Intermediate Unit to the local district at considerable cost savings. Within the community Dr. Kuser served at various times as a board member of the Boyertown Branch YMCA, Multi-Service, and Perkiomen Valley Academy. He served as an elder on the consistory of Shepherd of the Hills Church where he also taught adult Sunday School. A charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Boyertown Area and a life-member of Kiwanis International, he was twice elected president of the local club and served the division as Lieutenant Governor. He assisted with Special Olympics and Explorer Scouts. Among his other interests were local history, model railroading-he was a lifetime member of the National Model Railroad Association and the president of the Willow Valley Model Railroading Club-golfing badly, and perhaps his favorite, leather crafting. He sold many of his creations doing business as Principal Leathercraft and instructed others at his retirement community in this art. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his beloved children, daughter, Alison Moyer, Boyertown; son, Eric, Hingham, MA; three grandchildren; stepson, Stephen DeTurk, Seabrook Island, SC; stepdaughter, Sharon Bailey, Marlton, NJ; sisters, Sylvia Miller, Bechtelsville; Kathy, Del Oro, AZ, and Melanie Johnson, Lansdale, and brother, Daniel, Barto. He was predeceased by a brother, Steven, Indiana, PA. A memorial service will be held for Dr. Kuser on Friday, November 30, 2012, 11:30 a.m. at Catagnus Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Inc., 1020 E. Phila. Ave., Gilbertsville with Dr. Louis Palmieri officiating. Visitation will be Friday, November 30, 2012 from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m. at the funeral home. Dr. Kuser will be interred at Friedens Cemetery in Oley, PA. The burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Kiwanis Club of Boyertown Scholarship Fund, PO Box 392, Boyertown, PA 19512, which honors three BASH students killed in an automobile accident. View obituaries or send condolences at www.catagnusfuneralhomes.com

Published in The Mercury on Nov. 28, 2012
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