John Kusner Remembered

SCOD mourns the loss of John Kusner; a mentor, tutor, boss, neighbor, and friend. John was a Civil Engineer who taught Trigonometry, a map maker, author, and a scholar of many subjects including language, math, science, and history. He lived in Peru for several years, and established a language school there, and co-wrote a book on Agriculture for Peasant Farmers.

During the same year (RIP 2009), Harpers Ferry lost 2 important designers and draftsmen. Harpers Ferry and Bolivar were lucky to have Architect Kip Stowell  and Civil Engineer John Kusner; from the 1960s & 70s onward. Kip and John knew eachother, and I was glad to have worked for both of them.

John Kusner was a knowledgeable, kind, and gentle man. He was a good friend and mentor. No amount of time spent with him in this World was enough. The World needs more John Kusner’s.



3 Responses to “John Kusner Remembered”

  1. Rob Kusner Says:

    Thanks for sharing these kind words about our cousin John: he’s deeply missed….

  2. Back in 1987 I worked on the Yavari with John in Puno, Peru. I was searching on the internet to try to track John down and unfortunately came to this site. The epitaph above portrays accurately to me the John that I spent a brief time with and I am sure he will be missed by many.

    • I, too, am very sorry to hear of John’s passing. Over a period of several years I worked for John, surveying in (and around) Harpers Ferry. He was a person of strong conviction and feelings, but almost invariably calm demeanor even under provocation. He had, I think, the heart of an artist though his art was precise and accurate measurement and craftsmanship.
      He had a clarity of mind in imparting information that made him a good teacher. While driving over country roads to a job site, knowing I had a decent grasp of geometry and trig, he enabled me to picture exactly the process of computing the area of an irregular polygon through L&D (latitude and departure).
      Working for John was not like working for a boss but laboring with a friend. He would make time for interesting, non-work-related projects: In 1970 there was a solar eclipse whose path of totality would miss W.Va. but pass over southeastern Va. He organized and outfitted (telescopes, filters, pinhole projector and ‘screen’) a trip for several of us to observe the phenomenon. On the way he made sure we all knew about the various effects (Bailey’s beads, diamond ring, ripples, corona) to look for and their timing. We saw it all. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

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