Dear friends, family, and colleagues of John Coury, My name is Jessica Coury Papp, John Coury’s niece. I have logged in to John’s email to ensure that those he spoke with through email would receive this news. I regret to inform you all of John’s passing. On the evening of the 20th of December, while I was speaking to John on the phone, chatting away as he loved to do, he had a sudden cardiac arrest, which caused his quick passing. It has been a very difficult time for those that loved Johnny, but we are all comforted knowing that he went quickly, and we hope he is somewhere with his beloved Victor, eating lobster and smiling down on us all. Please pass this message on to others that Johnny knew. We hope that all the people that he loved will remember him, and carry on in his spirit of helping others and loving life. Below is his obituary. Sincerely, Jessica Papp John Peter Coury, 67, originally of Torrington, CT, died Sunday, December 20, 2009, at his home in Vienna, Virginia. A true philanthropist, John dedicated his life to helping those in need throughout the world. Born and raised in Torrington, the son of Nimar and Mary (Narsiff) Coury, he graduated from Torrington High School, and went on to attend Boston College, where he graduated with honors. He attended American International University, where he earned a Masters Degree in Political Science. John then began his career of service to others by joining the Peace Corps, volunteering throughout South America. His work also included positions for both the World Bank and the Pan American Health Organization. For the rest of his professional life, John remained with USAID. John traveled and worked extensively throughout South America, Africa, and the Caribbean, ensuring a better life for countless people in need. John was predeceased by his beloved son, Victor M. Coury, as well as his brothers Gerard Coury, David G. Coury, William S. Coury, and his mother and father Mary and Nimar Coury. John is survived by his sister Marcia Hasemann; brother Charles A. Coury; brother Nimar T. Coury Jr.; as well as several adoring cousins, nieces and nephews, and countless friends. John Coury dedicated his life to service and helping others. He lived each day as an adventure, and shared his infectious laughter with everyone he met. He will be greatly missed by many, yet his fun-loving spirit and his dedication to helping those in need will live on in all that he inspired. Calling Hours and Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, January 2, 2010 at Saint Maron’s Church, 613 Main Street in Torrington. Calling Hours will start at 8:30 a.m., followed by The Divine Liturgy of Resurrection celebrated at 10:00 a.m. The Burial will follow at The New Saint Francis Cemetery. Phalen Funeral has charge of arrangements. Memorial Contributions can be made to the Saint Maron’s Church Building Fund, 613 Main Street, Torrington, CT 06790. Below are some memories of John Coury that were received by email at the USAID Alumni Association.
Jessica, I am in total shock. We had a small Peace Corps Chile get-together on Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Old Ebbitts Grill in DC. John was fine then, and the life of the party—in fact, he organized it. John has been a dear, trusted, faithful friend of mine since 1965. There are others in your email list (Ben, Dick, et al) who also served in Chile with John, and many others who worked with him at USAID as well (I did both). John will be dearly missed missed by many who are proud to know him as a good friend….george George R. Gardner, Ph.D.
Thanks so much for your message, Jessica. As heartbroken as we all are over this, it has brought me a small measure of comfort to imagine that he was able to spend Christmas with Victor. God blessed all of us with John. An honorary “niece”, Lindsay Huffman-Dilks
Dear Jess, Waiting for some news from John we are very shocked and sad today to learn that he passed away on December 20th, even if we know that today he is close to Victor again. I met Victor and John in Panama in1982 and since we have allways been friends. We will always remind all the good time we spent together, in Panama, in Jamaica or in Paris, were I am living with my husbands Jean-Francçois and our Children Anne-Charlotte, Pierre-Hadrien and Augustin. John and Victor will always be in our heart and we will pray for them tomorrow . Warn regards to all the family. Hilda Castel Jean-François Castel Paris, France.
Jessica, John and I go all the way back as does George Gardiner to our Chile Peace Corps days and then USAID. John played Santa Claus when we both were posted there. I have a beautiful slide picture here in my study of my daughter perched on his knee. We were to see John at the end of this month as we passed through DC to Florida to get away from the snowy cold Maine winter. John was a dear friend to me and to my wife Sandi and our daughter Amy. Thank you for the effort to let us know of his passing. We all were blessed to know him. May he and Victor now be together Ben Severn
Thanks for your message Jessica, I’m Angie Paola Suaez from Colombia, I’m really with my broken heart because Dr. John was a very special person with all of us, with each person he gave to us love and He was a wonderful person. He was so sad for my uncle Victor but now I know that maybe he is with him with his lovely son. I don’t know if I’m writing good because I don’t now very well english but thanks to him I can write this mail to say to you that we really sorry , In colombia we are in total shock. I’m so sad.And all the family hope that he’ll be in a special place with my beloved uncle. Sincerely, Angie Paola Suarez
Dear Jess: Thank you for your lovely e-mail. I worked with your Uncle Johnny for over 20 years at USAID and I enjoyed every minute I ever spent with him. He was a wonderful colleague and friend! John guided us all to work hard and to be the best as we served the men, women and children around the world!! His love of people, particularly children will live with us forever. John’s smile could light up the darkest night and the warmth that he emitted left everyone around him glowing. His sense of humor and ability to always find the fun in every situation kept everyone laughing and smiling! As John now takes his final resting place, he will do so with the peace of mind that every single soul who had the distinct honor to call him family and friend has been left a better person for having shared their life with him. And so it is with much love and adoration that I say goodbye to my good friend, John! Warm regards, Bonita
Dear Jess, Family and Friends of John – Some 30 years ago John and victor came to Haiti – a place Victor had wanted to visit since he admired the painters there. John and Victor were travelling around like Peace Corps Volunteers, taking local painted taxis, eating local food and just soaking up the vibrant, earthy colors and sounds and smells of Haiti. They stopped in to see us and we enjoyed their company; my son PJ was about a year old then and Victor was just a young man. Years later I called John when one of our USAID colleagues departed, and found out that we lived close to each other. Me in Oakton, John in Vienna. During my 2 years in Wash DC John was my best friend. We went to all you can eat Asian buffets (particularly Tsun nami out by the Wal-Mart), and did home repairs together. I helped him carry in some frames and hang a few paintings (Victor’s of course), and John was always one to give me a 2nd opinion on painting, bathroom upgrades, and so much more. He was a true friend. His sense of humor was what you would expect from someone who worked creatively and productively in population and reproductive health. We shared so many laughs together, and I’ll remember his devotion to family, the way he carried sorrow with grace and hope after losing Victor, and his bonhommie. He spoke often of his brother, cousins, and all of his family. He made being a Catholic something to be proud of. I miss him dearly and send my condolences to all of you. Chris McDermott (in Chiang Mai Thailand) and Quan