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Ruth Ann Koesun

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Ruth Ann Koesun Obituary
Koesun, Ruth Ann, age 89, of Chicago passed away Feb. 1, 2018 of natural causes. Devoted daughter of the late Dr. Paul Z. Koesun, a distinguished physician for many years in Chicago's Chinatown, and Mary M. Koesun (nee Mondulick). Loving cousin of the late Loring and Dr. Moyra Moy of San Francisco. Dear friend of many including Mary Jane and Ted Fudacz, Susan and David Ruder, Jack Hackman, Richard "Dick" Covello, Barbara Pekow, Alison Hinderliter, Kerri Burkhardt, Barbara Landis and Michael Kramer. Loving godmother of Ellen (Hon. Matthew) Coghlan. Graduate of Mercy High School Class of 1945. Ruth Ann was a Principal Ballerina of Ballet Theatre, now known as American Ballet Theatre from 1946 to 1969 traveling extensively around the world. She debuted on July 4, 1946 at London's Royal Opera House and would go on to win international acclaim for her lyrical interpretations of many roles. Ms. Koesun was described as having a graceful yet assured technique and a sensitive feel for characterization, which along with her "porcelain-princess" beauty made her a popular and widely known performer. She, along with Melissa Hayden, were photographed by Philippe Halsman and appeared on the cover of Life magazine in 1947. She taught master classes and was associated with her beloved John Kriza in ABT productions, in summer stock, and in the famous "Salute" shows at the College Inn in Chicago and the New Yorker Hotel. After retiring from American Ballet, Ms. Koesun was co-director of the Dance Department at Hull House Association and danced as principal ballerina with First Chamber Dance Company of New York, 1971-73, then became Executive Director of the Association of Illinois Dance, 1975-79. Ms. Koesun also worked as performing arts archivist at The Newberry Library, 1989-present, as a member of the dance panel of the Illinois Arts Council, Chicago, and as Administrative Assistant for Chamber Opera Chicago. Ms Koesun was a recipient of the Excellence Award in performing arts from the Organization of Chinese Americans, 1985. Visitation Saturday February 17, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. until time of Mass 10:30 a.m. at Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N. State Street, Chicago, IL. Interment at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church, Chicago. www.sttheresechinatown.org. Arrangements entrusted to the Original Lamb Family Funeral & Cremations Service. For info call 708-710-9549.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Feb. 11, 2018
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