Cover photo for Wayne Koehn's Obituary
Wayne Koehn Profile Photo
1951 Wayne 2020

Wayne Koehn

August 31, 1951 — January 9, 2020

Song: How Great Thou Art


Welcome/Scripture

We have come today to share with Bonnie, with Phyllis, Cheryl, Kelly, Ronnie, Bob, Steve, and Mark in grieving the loss of Wayne—a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, and friend.  ­­­­­­­­­­­­We have come to mourn with them, to feel with them the strong sense of separation, to share in a painful and sorrowful time.  And we have come to remember and celebrate the life of Wayne this day.

Today, we offer comfort to the family and friends of Wayne.  We offer comfort with our presence—just being here today communicates to the family how special Wayne was.  We offer comfort with our shared memories—as we remember stories about Wayne and share them with one another and the family, they bring comfort and peace and laughter.


And we offer comfort with God’s Holy Word:

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Romans 8:35-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Prayer

Father, we come to you today with heavy hearts as we mourn the death of Wayne.  We believe that You are our strength and our refuge in times of grief and sorrow.  We ask for your comfort and peace, your love and compassion to be made known to the family and friends of Wayne this day.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Song: Precious Memories

Obituary

Wayne C. Co-en passed away peacefully Thursday January 9, 2020 with his wife of 68 years, Bonnie Co-en by his side.  He was born November 5, 1922 to Benjamin B. and Lydia A. Co-en.  Wayne and his wife Bonnie Co-en enjoyed a long, loving life together beginning August 31, 1951.

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers; three sisters; a son-in-law: Jerry Hill; and a son: Stan Co-en.  Wayne is survived by his loving wife Bonnie Co-en of Adrian Manor; three daughters: Phyllis Hill of Lawson, MO; Cheryl and Amanda Co-en of West Fork, AR; Kelly and Bob Eakes of Drexel, MO; four sons: Ronnie and Janice Co-en of Adrian, MO; Bob and Wanda Co-en of Kansas City, MO; Steve Co-en of Missouri City, MO; and Mark and Rhonda Co-en of Adrian, MO; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

Wayne grew up in western Kansas and Missouri.  He was an Army Air Force Veteran of WWII, serving in the South Pacific as a Medic.  He saw action or was stationed on Iwo Jima, Philippines, Okinawa, New Guinea, Biak Island, and traveled to Australia and Japan amongst others.  He received many medals and awards during his time of service.  After the war, he joined Bonnie Ramage for an adventure that would last over 68 years.

He was head powderman, handling and setting off explosives at Midwest Precoat mines in Randolph, MO, later working for Construction Industry Laborers Union.

He was a kind, helpful man that could fix or build anything he put his mind to and after retirement created many wonderful pieces of art and memories using everything from wood to corncobs.

Wayne was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.  He had recently rededicated his life to Jesus as his Lord and Savior and is with Him now and forever.

Sermon/Eulogy

Is there anyone who would like to say a few words about Wayne? Share some memories about Wayne?





àI am sad to say that I didn’t know Wayne.  From the stories his boys had to share, I think he might be one of more intriguing people I’ve ever heard about.

A member of the greatest generation and WWII veteran makes him an immensely interesting person and a person who has my utmost respect and appreciation; and to serve as a medic, he no doubt saw some truly awful stuff.  But he, like most of his contemporaries, was so proud to serve and proud of his service.  The honor of men like Wayne is not lost on me.

Add to his military service and all the stories I am sure he could tell about his time in the South Pacific, his work as a powder man in the mines is fascinating to me.  Lighting dynamite and letting his boys tag along with him from time to time—what I wouldn’t give to have been there with them.

“He’s just sitting off loads of dynamite, so why not take children along?”

Wayne has something on his résumé that is an absolute first for me: free range pet badgers (in the house!).  Pet crows and snakes and squirrels, to boot.  What an incredible childhood he afforded his children.  And what an incredible and understanding wife and mother Bonnie was to put up with all that.

There was nothing Wayne couldn’t fix; duct tape was especially useful (his power chair and his cane sported some duct tape).  Recently, when Bob repaired a picture to hang in his dad’s room, his dad asked if he could see it.  Bob turned it around, Wayne saw the duct tape holding the picture in place, and nodded approvingly.

Wayne was a good, strong, hard-working, loving father.  His boys recounted: “He took care of us.  He disciplined us; we had a lot of rules.  We could always count on him.  He gave us values and a work ethic.”

I know there’s so much more they could say about their dad, but the short conversation we had about him makes it clear how much he meant to them, how much he was respected, how grateful they were for him and his influence.

Wayne loved his kids, his grandkids, his great-grandkids.  In fact, bring a kid by and he’d perk up.  He loved spending time with them.

Wayne was a loving and committed husband.  A marriage of 68+ years is an absolutely incredible witness, an example for the rest of us.  Wayne and Bonnie, I’m certain, went through a lot of difficult times together, but to stay with one another and to love one another through the good times and the bad, in sickness and in health, until death parted—well, that’s what they vowed and that’s what they did.

Far and away, the best story I heard about Wayne revolved around his faith.  The last line of the obituary says it best: “He had recently rededicated his life to Jesus as his Lord and Savior and is with Him now and forever.”

That is absolutely true.  That’s the Good News about Jesus Christ—He knows those who are His own and He holds onto them with an everlasting, never-ending, always and forever love.

That’s something to celebrate.

àThough we can smile and celebrate, even though we can remember the good times and laugh at funny stories, we have to admit: a funeral is a difficult time.  It’s difficult for all of you family and friends.  It is difficult, because life now has to be re-imagined without Wayne.

A funeral confronts us with the fact that life is not permanent

If we’re fortunate, the Bible tells us that we might have 80 or 90 or 100 years in this life.  For some, it’s more less.  For others, it’s even less.

97 years is an incredible life.  And yet, there is

The truth is: this life is not permanent.  There will be an end to this life—that is certain.  And that can be a hard truth to swallow.

A funeral confronts us with the certainty of death

If there’s anything that a funeral says to us, it’s that death is certain.  In this world, few things are guaranteed.

Sadly, death is one of them.  No one will escape it.  We can’t avoid it.  Death will find each and every one of us.

àA funeral is beyond difficult, but

There is comfort for those grieving

We are here to support and give comfort to Wayne’s family.  One of the main reasons we have a funeral is for this very thing.

A loved one dies, and instead of quietly moving on, going our own way, we have a funeral service—a funeral is not for the deceased.

A funeral is for the living.  We hold a funeral service to comfort and embrace those who are grieving.

What a comfort it is to have friends and family gathered in one place for the express purpose of strengthening and comforting one another.

What’s more, we find comfort from the Lord.

The God who created Wayne and loves Wayne, is the God who has created you, the God who loves you—the God who loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die in your place.

God cares when we hurt, we when grieve.

We can turn to Him to find comfort, to find help, to find love and peace.

The God who created the entire Universe is near to all those who call upon Him.

He cares.  He listens.  He loves.  He offers comfort to you, this day.

To everyone gathered here today, let me acknowledge this:

You have suffered a deep loss in the death of Wayne.  You are, no doubt, saddened.  Your lives have been forever altered.  You will have to re-imagine life without him.  Grieve and mourn, and that’s the right thing to do.

It’s good to grieve, it’s important and it’s healthy, but in your grief and mourning, remember that there is hope.

Here’s the reason for hope:

God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.

Wayne belongs to God by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, and had hope beyond death.  His hope of eternal life was because Jesus suffered and died and was resurrected from the dead.

àWayne placed his faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  The Bible tells us, and we believe, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  So, at the moment Wayne breathed his last breath here, he was in the presence of His Lord and Savior there.

It’s as Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die."

What a great promise! What wonderful words of hope!

Song: Mansion Over the Hilltop

Final Prayer

Song: How Great Thou Art

Welcome/Scripture

Prayer

Song: Precious Memories
Obituary

Sermon/Eulogy

Song: Mansion Over the Hilltop
Final Prayer

Song: How Great Thou Art

Welcome/Scripture

Prayer

Song: Precious Memories
Obituary

Sermon/Eulogy

Song: Mansion Over the Hilltop
Final Prayer

Song: How Great Thou Art

Welcome/Scripture

Prayer

Song: Precious Memories
Obituary

Sermon/Eulogy

Song: Mansion Over the Hilltop
Final Prayer

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