Joe Kuszai
1932 - 2019
{ "" }
Share Joe's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Joe Kuszai

East Lansing - Passed peacefully at home surrounded by family on February 12, 2019. He taught Graphic Design at Michigan State University for 50 years. Born in 1932 in Hartford and raised on a tobacco farm in Glastonbury, Connecticut, he enlisted in the USAF during the Korean War. While stationed at Dover, Joe met the love of his life, Shirley Collins of Laurel, Delaware. They married in 1956. Joe earned a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Yale University. In New York in the early 1960s, Joe was a designer at Columbia Records, and Clarke & Way publishers, a photographer for Look Magazine and more. In the mid 60s, he joined the Department of Art at Michigan State University, where he taught until 2014. Joe was an innovative educator, an evangelist of process-oriented design education. In the 80s, he founded the first Apple Mac lab dedicated to design. A colorful figure on campus riding his '66 Vespa in a white eggshell helmet, Joe loved MSU and Detroit sports teams, as well as boxing and golf. He loved cooking and cars, while late in life indulging himself with a Model A from his birth year.

Shirley preceded him in 2017. In addition to his three children, Christine, Joel and Cara, he is survived by his brothers James and Edward; sisters Susan and Jackie; four grandchildren, Dylan, Noa, Oskar and Joya; and a daughter-in-law, Kendra.

There will be a memorial at the Kuszai residence in East Lansing on March 16, 2019. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Joe and Shirley Kuszai Endowed Scholarship in Graphic Design at Michigan State University. To share memories and condolences please visit

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lansing State Journal on Feb. 17, 2019.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Skinner Funeral Homes
Not sure what to say?
1 entry
February 17, 2019
My sincere condolences to the family at this sorrowful occasion. As time passes and fond memories come to mind hoping they bring you a measure of comfort. May mercy and peace and love be increased to you.
Jude 2
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences