Kenneth M. (Ken) Koski


(Sept. 2006)

Funeral services for Wyoming State Public Defender Ken Koski, 56, will be held Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Cathedral in Cheyenne with Father Gary Ruzicka officiating.

A vigil service will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 at Schrader Funeral Home at 2323 Carey Avenue in Cheyenne.

Kenneth Michael (Ken) Koski was born in Hot Springs, S.D., Sept. 6, 1950, to Michael and Jean (Goodson) Koski. He died Sept. 6, 2006, pursuing a passion of backpacking in the Wind River Mountains.

Ken attended school in Newcastle, graduating in 1968. He attended Casper College, receiving an associate degree in 1970. He then attended the University of Wyoming, graduating in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in German. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He met his wife, Cheryl (Balin), while stationed at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina in August of 1973. While in the service, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Marksman Rifle Badge, and Marksman Pistol Badge. He was discharged from active duty Aug. 15, 1975. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., and eventually was separated from service and obtained the highest rank of Major.

He married Cheryl Lynn Balin in West Springfield, Mass., on July 26, 1975. He returned to the University of Wyoming and obtained a Juris Doctorate degree in May 1979 and was admitted to the Wyoming State Bar, Sept. 6, 1979.

After graduation from law school, the family moved to Powell where Ken served as a law clerk before opening a private law practice and becoming a part-time public defender. In 1995, Ken accepted the position of Deputy State Public defender and moved with his family to Cheyenne. He was appointed State Public Defender in 2000 and served in that capacity until his death.

Ken touched many lives with all the interests he had and passions he pursued. He became involved in Scouting at a young age and continued to be active by becoming a scout leader in Laramie, and then Powell. He always had a tremendous love for the outdoors and continued to pursue this passion throughout his life. Specifically, he tried to impart this love of this leisure pursuit to family and friends through frequent Wind River backpacking trips.

He was an avid reader and collected many books on Wyoming. Later on he developed an interest in World War II, specifically his father's 41st Calvary Unit, in which he researched and coordinated meetings among veterans.

From his daily breakfast at the Driftwood to meetings with clients, Ken had a way of meeting and befriending people through all walks of life. He was very generous with his time and loved to promote the State of Wyoming every chance he got. He particularly enjoyed giving personal tours of government buildings in Cheyenne.

In addition to his wife Cheryl, Ken is survived by his children, Kristie of Berkeley, Calif. , Kerri (Adam) Powell, Kris, and Katie of Cheyenne: brothers Kirt of Casper, Keith of Colorado Springs, and Steve of Wheatland; sisters Karen Koski of Aurora, Colo., DeeDee Howard of Colorado Springs, and Cindy Goussard of Franktown, Colo.; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ken Koski Benefit Memorial, c/o Shoshone First Bank, 102 E. Second Street, in Powell, or 1401 Sheridan Avenue, P.O. Box 1330, in Cody. All proceeds will go to Wyoming Search and Rescue organizations.

The public is invited to a celebration of Ken Koski's life — "A Time To Remember" — on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Powell. There will be a short service and a song sung by Eagle

Scout Steve Lebruska.

Everyone is welcome to share memories of Ken. Anyone who was in Scouts is asked to wear their uniform or merit badge sash.