Reverend John A. Koonz

The Republican
December 4, 2013

Reverend John A. Koonz


The Reverend John A. Koonz, 76 of West Springfield, MA died Wednesday November 27, 2913 at his home surrounded by his family. He was born in Cornwall, NY son of Joseph H. and Theresse (Gunther) Koonz. He attended St. Columba Elementary School in Chester, NY until 1946, when the family moved to North Adams. He then attended the former St. Joseph's Elementary School and graduated from the former St. Joseph's High School with the class of 1955. He graduated from St. Anselm's College in 1959 and completed his theological studies at St. Mary's University of Theology Seminary in Baltimore, MD in 1963. On May 26, 1963, Rev. Koonz was ordained to the Priesthood by Bishop Christopher J. Weldon at his home parish of St. Francis of Assisi in North Adams, MA. Rev. Koonz first served at Christ the King Parish in Ludlow followed by time at Our Lady of Hope in Springfield. From 1969 to 1973, he served as Administrator at St. John's Church in Miller's Falls and was Administrator at Holy Name Church in Springfield from 1973 to 1978. In 1978, he was named administrator at St. Agnes Church in Dalton. Rev. Koonz was named Pastor of St. Agnes Church on November 6, 1980 and served there until May 2, 2002 when he retired due to physical disability. Father Koonz held many positions within the Springfield Diocese starting in 1969 when he was elected to the Priest's Senate and held the position of Secretary until 1972. From 1969 to 1973, he was the Deanery Director of Religious Education for Franklin County. From 1971 to 1976, he was the President of the Laymen's Academy for Ecumenical Studies in Amherst. In 1973, he was elected to the Clergy Commission, serving on its Personnel Board and from 1975 to 2002 served on the Ecumenical/Interfaith Commission. From 1978 to 1985 he was the Ecumenical Officer for the Diocese of Springfield. He led the Interfaith Mission to Israel in 1974 and served as the Dean of the Interfaith School of Theology in 1976. In 1977, he served as a Delegate to the National Workshop on Christian Unity. From 1984 to 2002, Father Koonz was the Vicar Forane and Dean of the Southern Berkshire Deanery. He celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination of May 26, 2013. After his retirement, he moved to West Springfield, MA to reside with his sister, Virginia. One of six siblings, he is survived by his three sisters including Virginia Koonz of West Springfield, MA with whom he made his home; Annette Koonz Leveque of North Adams and Joan Koonz Gazzaniga of Williamstown; his sister in law, Barbara Munday Koonz; and nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Mary Ellen Koonz who died in 1963 and his brother, Joseph H. Koonz Jr. who died on September 28, 2013. FUNERAL NOTICE: A Liturgy of Christian Burial for Rev. John A. Koonz will be celebrated Saturday December 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, 70 Marshall St. North Adams, MA. Burial will follow in Southview cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the funeral. Memorial donations are suggested to BARC or St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in care of the Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals Central Chapel, 74 Marshall St. North Adams, MA 01247. For more details, please


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