John Ray Kool, 68, passed away peacefully at home in Lincoln, NE, on Apr. 28, 2023, from a long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his wife, three children, son-in-law, and sister at the time of his passing. John will be dearly missed and always remembered. Services were held Saturday, May 6, in Lincoln, NE, with burial in Omaha, NE.
John was born Oct. 17, 1954, in Newton, to parents William and Alice (Kersbergen) Kool. John was the sixth of seven children. He attended Lynnville-Sully School and graduated from Newton High School. He attended Drake University on a full-ride Maytag scholarship, where he graduated with a BS degree in music education in 1976. He went on to be a school band director, manage a family-owned music store, was the bugler at Ak-Sar-Ben Racetrack, played trumpet in many bands, taught music lessons to countless students, and played taps at many graveside military services.
In July 1979, he married Phyllis Swoboda and enjoyed spending time with their three active children. John lived a full life: Often enjoying playing his trumpet for church services, teaching others the love of music, and playing as the lead trumpet player in the Inter-generational Orchestra (IGO). John retired in December 2016, but continued playing trumpet and giving lessons, as well as watching his grandchildren grow. In recognition of his service to the community, the Plattsmouth Mayor proclaimed Feb. 4, 2017 as John R. Kool Day.
He was preceded in death by his parents and niece Julie (Kool) Hodge.
He is survived by his wife, Phyllis of Lincoln, NE; his three loving children Bill (Suzie) Kool of Elkridge, MD, Alison (Rick) Garcia of Chicago, IL, and Veronica (Kyle) Jones of Lincoln, NE; his five grandchildren Kayla, Johnny, Josh, Alicia, and Ellie; his six siblings Paul (Sharon) Kool of Newton, Norman (Jackie) Kool of Cedar Rapids, Mary (Ron) Goecke of State Center, Helen (Gene) Kaldenberg of Reasnor, Joan Kool of Newton, and Jim Kool of Newton; several cousins, nieces, and nephews; and countless friends.