Penwell Turner Funeral Home - Shelby, Ohio

Jack C. Kooken

Jack C. Kooken, age 93, of Shelby, passed away peacefully early Saturday morning, January 6, 2024 at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus.

Jack was born March 31, 1930 in Shelby to the late Charles Laverne “Vern” and Elma A. (Woodworth) Kooken. A 1948 graduate of Shelby High School, he soon after married his high school sweetheart, Evelyn L. Veil, on May 31, 1948. Jack then served in the Ohio Air National Guard and began a career at Shelby Mutual Insurance, starting in the print department and later moved to the mail and supply room. He retired in 1995 following 45 years of service. In addition to Shelby Mutual, Jack’s career was bookended by the grocery industry- first, while in high school, at the Red and White Grocery Store on the corner of Sharon Street and West Main Street and, following retirement, at Cornell’s IGA stocking shelves, helping with carry out, and never having a shortage of conversation with customers.

Jack was an active member of his church which he loved, First United Methodist Church in Shelby, where he served as head usher for many years and was active in the Challengers Sunday School class. He had enjoyed swimming and bowling as sports he participated in and was an avid fan of any and all Shelby Whippet athletics which he and Evelyn faithfully attended and supported for many years. He was also a fan of the Cleveland Indians/Guardian. When they were active, Jack was a member of the Shelby Jaycees and he had loved going to Lakeside to visit and vacation. Always social, Jack loved simple things which brought him great pleasure- his town, his home, walking his dog, yardwork, and feeding the birds.

Jack is survived by his wife of 75 years, Evelyn L. (Veil) Kooken; children: Elaine Adkins of Shelby and her sons: Jeff (Sondra) Adkins, Craig Adkins, and Chris (Emily) Adkins; Gary (Jill) Kooken of Bluffton, SC and their children: Stacie (Matthew) Eaton and Dominick Pica; Dan (Trish) Kooken of Hardeeville, SC and their children: the late Eric Kooken, Megan Fields, Courtney Fields, and Erin (John) Jones; and the late Brian L. Kooken and his daughter: Angela (Mike) Mahek. Also surviving are 17 great grandchildren; 2 great great grandchildren; his sister: Mary Beth Saunders of Galion; 2 nieces and a nephew. In addition to his parents, son, and grandson, Jack was preceded in death by his son-in-law: Thomas L. Adkins and brother: Robert Dale Kooken.

Family and friends are welcome on Friday, January 12, 2024 from 3-5 pm at the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby where funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 11 am. Rev. James Macdonald will officiate the services with burial following in Oakland Cemetery, Shelby. Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, 18 South Gamble Street, Shelby, OH 44875.

Online condolences may be made on Jack’s obituary on the funeral home’s website,, or their Facebook page,


To view Jack’s Tribute Video, click here: Jack C. Kooken Tribute Video

Memories & Condolence

  1. Brigette Harrison says:

    My deepest condolences to Jack’s family.
    He was such a great guy! I really enjoyed conversations with him at Cornells.
    RIP Jack.

  2. Dan Leffel says:

    So sorry to hear this! Jack was a good man, husband, father, grandfather, and friend! He always had a positive attitude and was a delight to be around! Joanne’s and my thoughts are with the family and may you be consoled by the many wonderful memories you all created together!

  3. Deb curren says:

    My mom,Shirley Boardman, thought a lot of Jack and I agree with her. I saw him a couple months ago and he still shared his impish smile. He will be missed by many.

  4. Sonja Reer says:

    To Jack’s family -what a very fun many years it has been knowing Jack, he always made me smile when I would show up to tend to his and Evelyn’s flower beds!! He and Buffy the dog would see me at neighbors and have to walk over and visit Not to mention his 75 years being married wow that was aswome!! I will truly miss him when I go to visit Evelyn always enjoyed visiting with him and he sometimes would even give me crap about something lol am glad I had the chance to know him may he rest in peace!!!

  5. Frederick M Studer says:

    My Condolence to the Kooken family for the loss of your loved one. The first time I remember meeting Mr. Kooken was back in about 62 when I peddled the Daily Globe, awhile back and many fond conversations since then. May God Bless and Keep You and Yours Always!

  6. Barbara Smith says:

    Evelyn and family,

    I am so sorry about Jack’s death. Jim and I really appreciated Jack’s and your support when we were in Shelby.

  7. Barbara Ingram says:

    Evelyn and Elaine. Sorry to hear of Jack’s passing. Many fond memories of your mom and dad in church growing up. Love and God bless. Barb

  8. Beer Michelle says:

    My sympathies to Jack’s family. I believe it was at Cornell’s that I got to talking to Jack about canning. He told me he had pears. I bought pears from Jack for a few years. Pears he grew on trees in his own back yard. I always liked Jack. Nice man. Sorry to hear.

  9. Lola Clabaugh Cline says:

    Dan and Family,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I loved catching up with your mom and dad whenever I ran into them out at Cornell’s. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. John Waldruff says:

    Evelyn and family ~ we are saddened to hear of Jack’s passing. Many memories from the years working together at the Mutual and then talking over coffee and donuts on Wednesdays at Cornell’s. God’s blessings and comfort to you all. John & JoAnn

  11. Carol Culbertson Allen says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Jack’s passing. The fond memories I have of him come from my earliest years. My family and the Kooken’s were neighbors on Marvin Ave. for my entire childhood. How I loved spending time in your house on the corner by the RR tracks with Mary Beth! Evelyn, Joanie and I are sending our deepest condolences and love to you and your whole family. May God be with you all.

  12. Fred Beeching says:

    To the Kooken family. You have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your wonderful loved one. I knew Jack at the Insurance Company and beyond. I always enjoyed seeing him and talking with him at Ted and Ali’s on Sundays. He will be missed. Hang on to the great memories. Prayers are with you.

  13. Barbara Lawson says:

    So sorry to hear about Jack’s passing. I first met him when I worked at Shelby Insurance, and then many years later at the Farmers Market where he sold pears next to me and I sold plants, produce and baked goods. Not too many people can say they have been married for 75 years.

  14. Sue Wills says:

    Dan, so sorry to hear about your dad. You have my dearest sympathy. Prayers to you and your family.

    Sue (Barnett) Wills

  15. Robyn Bovia says:

    Deepest sympathies. Such a nice man. Always a smile on his face. When I was a young mom shopping with three young children having him help me take my groceries out to the van while I buckled the kids in and a him asking me how my day was meant the world to me. May we all share a little kindness. Rest easy our friend. R

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