northertrackers
Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
Home of the "Northern Trackers"             
35170 County Road 3   •   Crosslake, MN 56442            
phone: (218) 692-1900            
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kossJohn F. Koss:
John F. Koss was born and grew up in Hopkins, Minnesota, as the older son in a family of two boys. His father and mother ran the Koss Paint and Wallpaper family business where John spent much of his youth. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics from the University of Notre Dame, followed by an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

During his long career at Northwestern Bell, AT&T and US West Telephony, John was a diversified general manager, executive director; and vice president. During his career he launched the first international cable and telephony business in the United Kingdom. John's strongest business assets included his unusual intellect, deep sense of integrity and motivation to excellence. In spit of living in many states, England and Indonesia, John was a humble man and had a strong sense of family, and loved living simply. John retired from telephony in 1998.

John especially loved trains, and received his first Lionel Train for Christmas when he was twelve years old. Having grown up in a small apartment, his dream was to create a large room that he, his friends and family could enjoy. To John, the train symbolized the progress of science and technology, a great machine that man had created to traverse the impossible distances of the country.

John often spoke to his sons about his first long train trip from Minneapolis to Notre Dame, the sheer power of the locomotive, the shiny steel of the cars, and the powerful slow rumble as the train started to move towards his new life in college. Throughout his life John continued to collect trains and set up smaller train sets, but the busy demands of his life and early death from cancer at the age of 63 never allowed him to fully complete that dream.

John would find deep satisfaction in knowing that people of all ages are able to view and enjoy his collection.

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