John “Jack” Cole Koester, 86, of Hendersonville passed away at the Elizabeth House on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. He was born in Olean, NY to the late Joseph and Mary Koester, and is survived by his wife of 61 years, Belle S. Koester; daughters, Julie (Bill) Sabin of Flat Rock, Jane Anne Koester of the United Arab Emirates; a son, Paul Koester (Pamela) of Owensboro, KY; and a sister, Anita (Rey) Jants of Blairsville, GA.
Jack attended the University of Miami, took time out to serve as a Tower Control Operator for two years in the US Navy, then completed his college degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Auburn University in 1957. He later went on to receive his Masters and PhD in Computer Science. He held positions with North American Aviation in California and System Development Corporation in California and Minnesota. In 1965, he joined IBM as part of the System Support Team for the Gemini and Apollo programs at the NASA Space Center in Houston, TX where he worked until his retirement in 1991. Jack loved the water and was an avid sailor with his family and friends on Galveston Bay and in the Gulf of Mexico. After moving to North Carolina in 2001, he enjoyed gardening, traveling, and keeping multiple feeders filled for birds, squirrels – and occasional bears. Jack dearly loved his family and his dog, Carter.
Services will be private.
The family wishes memorial donations be made to Four Seasons Compassion for Life, 571 S. Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731 or The Free Clinics, 841 Case Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792.