John E. Koontz, 84, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Monday, May 6th, 2019. Born in Everett, he was the son of the late John E. and Amy (Diehl) Koontz. He was widowed in 2017 by his wife of 57 years, Nancy E. (Ebersole) Koontz. John is survived by his three children, Pamela Hudson (Todd) and Susan Harris, both of Elizabethtown, and Brian Koontz (Cheryl) of Media, grandson Nicholas Hudson, and two siblings, Shirley Quay of Norristown and Don Koontz of Lancaster.
John graduated from Juniata college in 1956 with a BS and began his teaching career at Everett High School. He married the love of his life, Nancy in 1960. He then returned to graduate school at Bowling Green University and received his Master’s degree. He returned to teaching at Abington High School located just north of Philadelphia. In 1966, He moved his young family to Elizabethtown and spent the next 31 years working as a math professor at Elizabethtown College. It was a job he loved, and he stated teaching never felt like work to him.
He was never one to remain inactive and enjoyed being outdoors. He loved to hunt and fish and was also an avid gardener. He was known for growing the best corn, tomatoes and black raspberries around. John loved to travel with his wife and family. One of his favorite trips was going to Alaska and fishing for salmon. He was active in his church for all his life with various activities; ushering, men’s group, offering counter, youth groups and participating in district youth conferences. John was a lifelong softball player, first playing on the church team and then on several local league teams. He actively played until 2011 at the age of 77. He helped the church team win a multitude of tournament trophies.
As much as he loved to play the game, he was also a huge fan of several sports. He loved watching Penn State football, E-town College sports, especially basketball, both the men’s and womens teams as well as the Phillies and pro football. He was instrumental in helping to start the first girls’ softball league in Elizabethtown in the early 1970s and enjoyed watching his daughters play. His biggest joy was watching his grandson play baseball for the last 10 years.
Whether it was a sporting event, concert, music program or something needed to be repaired he was always present for his children and family. He will fondly be remembered as a grand storyteller with a twinkle in his eye and a warm smile for all those around him.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11 am on Saturday June 15th at Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren, 777 Mount Joy St, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, with Pastor Pam Reist officiating. Visitation will precede the service beginning at 10 am. Attendees are invited to join the family for additional time of sharing and a meal following the conclusion of the memorial service in Fellowship Hall at the Church. Arrangements have been entrusted to Miller-Finkenbinder Funeral Home & Crematory, Elizabethtown. 717-367-1543
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Community Cupboard of Elizabethtown, 61 E. Washington St., Elizabethtown, or to Elizabethtown College at Elizabethtown College, Development Office, 1 Alpha Dr., Elizabethtown, PA 17022.
Elizabethtown College, Attn: Development Office
1 Alpha Dr., Elizabethtown PA 17022
Community Cupboard of Elizabethtown
Shoppes on Market, 206 S. Market St., Elizabethtown PA 17022