Service Date: 2/9/2019 at 1:00 PM
Summit Room at Cheney Stadium
Dr. Vernon Arthur Kohout, Sr. Heaven picked up a new starting left hander for their rotation. Dr. Vernon Arthur Kohout joined his beloved wife Georgia on November 23, 2018 as he passed peacefully in his sleep. Vern was born August 13, 1927 in Tacoma, Washington. One of three boys born to William and Rachel Kohout, Vern spent his formative years in Tacoma. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1945 where he was captain of the Lincoln Abe's baseball team and a top-rated prospect on the West Coast. Vern was scouted by the Boston Red Sox and Brooklyn Dodgers among others and after a short stint in the Navy signed on with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League in 1947. He went on to pitch for the Salt Lake City Bees, the Visalia Cubs, the Bremerton Blue Jackets, the Spokane Indians and the La Mesa Lobos. He retired from baseball in 1950 and walked off the mound and into the classroom at the College of Puget Sound where he met his future wife, Georgia, in a home economics class. They were married in 1951. After earning his Ph.D. in Education from the University of Wisconsin in 1963, Vern got a call that would change his life forever. He soon joined the Department of Defense school system and spent the next 27 years abroad in a number of senior administrative roles, including Superintendent of Schools, for DoD school districts in the European, Middle East, Africa, Atlantic and Pacific theaters. Vern loved life. Always optimistic, always with a smile, always quick on the reply. He and Georgia were students for life and imbued their children with a sense of adventure as they traveled across Europe (in a VW van!) from duty station to duty station. Vern appreciated the culture and people of each country they visited; he was as comfortable pitching a tent and camping with the family in Spain one day as he was taking a tour of the Uffizi in Florence, Italy the next. He and Georgia were active, vibrant members of their expatriate communities, great ambassadors for our country and made lifelong friends where ever they were stationed. Fittingly, baseball entered his life again while stationed overseas in Athens, Greece when he coached the "Mets" to the Athens Little League title in 1974. Ten thousand miles from where he started his baseball career, there was Vern teaching a group of kids how to field, hit and throw. He loved baseball. For Vern, standing still was like giving up. There was always another approach to be considered, another subject or language to learn and another new technology to try. He had a keen mind. Whether it was researching his ancestry through documents and interviews to accurately cataloguing the history of the artifacts from their journeys abroad, Vern kept his corners squared and was all about the details. Vern and Georgia retired in 1990 and settled in Bonney Lake and then Sumner. Their home became the gathering point for our family and his love kept us coming back as often as we could. His baseball career came full circle in 2007 when he was inducted into the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame. As with all his accomplishments, he was gracious and humble about his crowning achievement in baseball more than a half century after he put down the glove and bat. We're grateful others saw in him what we did every day - a winner. Vern is survived by his three children, Lois, Vern and Fred, his daughters-in-law Lisa and Kathy, his five grandchildren (Lindsey, Ryan, Sarah, William and Karsten), his niece Penny McNulty and his sister-in-law Laura Tippie. He was preceded in death by his parents William and Rachel, his brothers Donald and Robert and his wife, Georgia. A celebration of Vern's life will be held February 9th, 2019 at 1pm in the Summit room at Cheney Stadium, 2502 South Tyler Street, Tacoma, WA 98405. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sumner Community Food Bank (P.O. Box 475, Sumner, WA 98390) in memory of Vernon A. Kohout.
Arrangements by Powers Funeral Home.