George Koeser

Obituary of George Koeser

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George J. Koeser, of Princeton, NJ, died July 13, 2014, of complications following a head injury. George was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia on July 21, 1923, the first son of Joseph and Anna Koeser. The Koesers left Prague in 1939, narrowly avoiding the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. The family lived in England and briefly in Brazil while awaiting their visas to America. George finished his secondary education at the Forest School outside London. Shortly after the Koesers arrived in New York City in January 1941, George studied at the University of Michigan, where he earned a BS in Chemical Engineering. In 1944, he gave up his military deferment to serve in the US Army. He later earned his JD at Fordham University Law, while working as a freelance writer and translator. George raised two daughters with his first wife Victoria Koeser in Cranford, NJ. He worked as a patent attorney at Squibb Corporation for 32 years, and was also a vice president there from 1986 until his retirement. Since his early days, George was an enthusiastic and accomplished skier, reader, photographer and gardener. He taught his daughters to love film and live theatre, though he did not succeed in passing down his love of opera. He spoke five languages, and traveled six continents, for both business and pleasure. George wrote several novels, one published in the Czech Republic. George was pre-deceased by his second wife Sigrid Schmidt Koeser, brother John Koeser, nephew Bruce Koeser, and his dear Rhodesian Ridgeback Zora. He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Rita Shannon Koeser of Princeton; daughter Joyce John, son-in-law Steven John, and grandson Daniel John of Boston, MA; daughter Dorre Street of Stonington, CT; stepson Russell Shannon and wife Hannah Means-Shannon of Ocean Gate, NJ; and niece Linda Koeser and family of Del Ray Beach, FL. Also surviving him are four generations of first cousins in the Czech Republic, and his extended Schmidt-Westerkamp family in Germany, New York City, and Chile. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in George's memory to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation George's ashes have been interred at Ewing Cemetery, Ewing Township, NJ. Memorial will be private.
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