Joseph Patrick Koval
Joseph Patrick Koval, 89, of Staunton passed away on Sunday March 15, 2020 at Heritage Health Hospice Care in Staunton.
Joe was born March 16, 1929 in Mt. Olive, to Michael and Anna (Kasalko) Koval. He married the love of his life, Rosemary Vidot, April 29, 1967 in Mt. Olive. Rose proceeded him in death in August 1986.
Following graduation from Mt. Olive Community High School in 1947, he attended Blackburn College in Carlinville, and graduated in 1950 with an associates of art degree. He then attended the University of Illinois where he received his bachelor of political science in 1952 and then continued his education path to receive bachelor of laws in 1954. Joe then wanted to serve his country, so he enlisted in the United States Army, and served in the Fifth Armored “Victory Division”: 81st Medium Tank Battalion and served from 1954-56. Upon leaving the service in 1956 he began his long career in law by becoming partner in the Kelsey & Koval law firm in Carlinville, in 1958 which continued until 1965 at which time he went into private practice continuing until 1976. During his early years as a lawyer he also served as a hearing officer in the Illinois Department of Aeronautics from 1961 to 1969. In 1972, Joe ran for and was elected into the State’s Attorney position for Macoupin County and held that position until 1976. In 1976, he then decided to run for the Circuit Judge position in Carlinville and was elected into that office in July 1976. The Honorable Judge Joseph P. Koval remained in Circuit Judge position and won retainment throughout his career until retirement in December 2006.
Judge Joseph Koval was listed as a reputable judge in the Marquis Who’s Who. He was an active member of the Macoupin County Bar Association, Illinois Judges Association, American Judicature Society and the Knights of Columbus Lodge. Many may have known him by “Your Honor” or “Judge,” but he would always say, “Please, just call me Joe.”
Joe enjoyed hunting and fishing with his brothers John and Mike for pheasant and quail throughout the central Illinois counties. Joe was an active member at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Adopt-A-Pet in Benld, VFW member, sponsor of several families under the Unbound Charity foundation, sponsor of the Wounded Warrior Foundation and gave generously to many other charitable foundations. He was a St. Louis Cardinals fan, Emmylou Harris was his favorite country singer and he was a fan club member, lover of all things Charles Schultz and “The Peanuts” characters and a “Gunsmoke” TV show aficionado.
He will be dearly missed by his children, Terri Mrazek of Moses Lake, Wash.; Linda Yingst of Houston, Texas, Keith Koval of St. Louis; and Rhonda Koval of Edwardsville; and George (Elizabeth) Koval of Ballwin, Mo.; 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews and their families. He will also be missed by the local Staunton community from his friends at the local Dairy Queen, R&B’s restaurant and Staunton Community Memorial Hospital all of which were his usual hangouts in his later years. Finally, he will be missed by so many more people within the Macoupin County area and though the surrounding counties who had the opportunity to work along side him. He was a very honorable husband, father and friend to all who were blessed to have known him.
He was preceded in death by parents Michael and Anna, his two sisters, Lucille Koval and Virginia Morris and his two brothers John Koval and Michael Koval.
Memorial dedications may be made to Adopt-A-Pet in Benld or St. Michael’s Catholic Parish in Staunton.
To the colleagues and dear friends of Joseph P. Koval, the passing of Joseph P. Koval within this time of uncertainty over the coronavirus (COVID-19) has bought difficult decisions as to how to honor him. With the passing of any family member, the family wants to share their memories with relatives and friends who knew them best. During this time of remembrance and reflection we look back fondly on the life he or she may have lived by those who were blessed to be a part of it.
After speaking with the St. Michael’s Parish and with the kindness of Williamson Funeral Home in Staunton, there will be a very private gathering for immediate family and a very few close friends to say our farewell to Joe.
At a later date that is yet to be determined, a celebration of life for Joseph P. Koval will take place.
Joe was laid to rest in Holy Trinity Cemetery in Mt. Olive, next to his beloved wife Rosemary, his father and mother and many other Koval family members.
Those wishing to make a memorial dedication in Joe name, they may be made to Adopt-A-Pet in Benld or St. Michael’s Catholic Parish in Staunton.
George Williamson Funeral Home, Staunton, is in charge of arrangements. To order flowers or leave an on-line condolence, visit www.williamsonfh.com.