Grandpa Koucky

Charles Joseph Koucky

“KOUCKY, Dr. Charles Joseph of Saginaw, Michigan. Charles Koucky, our father, peacefully passed away at his home after a weekend with family, friends and a dog he requested, and under the watchful eyes of his loving caregivers, “Charlie’s Angels,” on Sunday, March 28, 2010. Age 80 years. He is missed already. The son of the late Ella (Harshman) and Frank Koucky was born September 5, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois. He was known for his determination even as a child, and was featured on the cover of Boy’s Life Magazine, showing his bone collection, and discussing his urge to become a truly great surgeon, and to help many. This he did, and also became a pioneer in laser surgery. As a kid, his mother often found strange things he was studying in her basement, but she seems to have adopted a “don’t look, don’t want to know” philosophy. His children remember patients’ gifts of gratitude though the years-vegetables, baked goods, lawn furniture, even live chickens in Chicago, which rather stunned his wife Pat. Charles was passionate about learning and teaching and could explain complex surgeries with very good drawings. One medical student, frustrated with her knots, remembers him saying “the most dangerous doctors are the ones who think they are natural born surgeons.” He always encouraged people to follow their passions but to be truly great at whatever it is they chose to do. He heard Patricia Munson play the organ at Carleton College and decided he must meet her. They married May 31, 1952 and shared a love of family, books, music and musicals, and all the arts. They were active in the arts community of the Saginaw area, and passed along these interests to their four children. Their favorite times seemed to be in Charlevoix Michigan, and in Naples, Florida, both places with family never far. Charles loved boating and fishing, and Venetian Fest, which over 30 years, he rarely missed. An avid gardener, he loved sharing seeds with others and planting seeds in places you would not expect. That legacy will live on for many years. He leaves behind 12 grandchildren, now spread throughout the world, and Charles was looking forward to meeting his first great-grandchild in the fall. Patricia passed away suddenly October 22, 2003. Charles received his undergraduate degree from Carlelton College and his medical doctorate from the University of Illinois. He practiced as a general surgeon with privileges at St. Mary’s, St. Lukes and Saginaw General (Covenant) hospitals. He began the Michigan State University Residency Program in Saginaw and was a full professor at Michigan State University. He was also the Director of the Surgical Residency Program at Synergy. He also served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery in Saginaw General Hospital. For over two decades he was the only surgeon performing Pediatric Surgery in Saginaw. As a medical leader in the community Dr. Koucky also performed Saginaw’s first laparoscopic cholecystectomy, ushering in new medical technology in the region. He received the Physician of the Year award. He served as a Captain with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Together with his wife, Charles was an active supporter of the Saginaw Symphony and Saginaw Art Museum. Surviving are four children, Charles Koucky Jr. and his wife, Nancy, Pine Island, FL; Kenneth and Sharon Kousky, Saginaw, MI; Katherine Ackerman and her fiancé, Mark Schrag, East Lansing, MI; William Koucky, Traverse City, MI: twelve grandchildren, Lahren and Caitlin Koucky; Bradley, Corey and Alyssa Ackerman; Rebecca and Carolyn Kousky; Luke Koucky, Alex and Laura Adams; Megan and Jason Breen. He is also survived by a brother and his wife, John and Mary Ann Koucky, Decatur, Ill; several nieces and nephews. A brother, Frank Koucky, predeceased him. The family wishes to thank Kathy Lonsway, Ruby Rodriguez and Melissa White, as well as many other caregivers for their tremendous patience and loving care of our dad. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, April 10, 2010 at First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Ave. Saginaw, MI, with a reception for friends and family to follow. Dr. Charles Guerreno Jr. will officiate. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Saginaw Art Museum or the Saginaw Bay”
As far away as I am, until today I have felt completely disconnected from everything I have been hearing from my family. Hearing words over the phone can only do so much, apparently, because when I finally started searching the web for the obituary and read people’s comments in the guest book, it was completely different.
He got me my very first orchid

April 8, 2010. Tags: . Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Sandra replied:

    Alyssa, I am so sorry to hear about your grandpa. From what I have re he was truly a great man. You can be proud to be his granddaughter. Perhaps one day you will grow orchids in his memory as I grow asters in memory of my grandmother. It is very comforting when I watch them grown and bloom each summer.

    Today is Mikie’s birthday so my thoughts go back 29 years remembering the joy he brought us when he came into this world.

    If you need anything I am here for you. Sandra

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: