A Musical Tribute To Johnny: Long May You Run

A Musical Tribute To Johnny: Long May You Run

Our dear friend John Koellner has passed away. If anyone makes it to heaven, I am certain that he did.

He enjoyed simple and basic things. He loved the wind in the trees, the smell of fall, crickets chirping in the cool night air, a good wood fire, Notre Dame football, telling stories about Uncle Pep, more stories about adventures and misadventures with brothers Pat, Paul and Bill; a flying clay pigeon skillfully blown to smoke, a fine steak, a great homemade pizza, fine literature, early American history, a good crossword puzzle, his students and teaching chemistry; a “larapin-good” mustard and baloney sandwich, Father Pedro’s old music radio program from N.D., A Prairie Home Companion and news from Lake Wobegon; and the movies Quiet Man, A Christmas Story and Stalag 17, his precious weber grills and own masterfully cooked feasts.

Johnny didn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve, but they ran deep to his core. He was honest and loving to his family and friends and he focused upon the beauty of the world through science and his intense appreciation of nature.
He was a patriot and seldom missed a vote.
If you were ever in need, or in trouble, he was there for you. In these things he was selfless.

 John was an intellectual with a Bachelor’s Degree and two Master’s Degrees from the University of Notre Dame. Though it was not apparent to strangers, he was a quietly passionate man. He could be pretty stubborn if anyone tried to push him. If you irritated him enough, he would likely let you know it with his signature phrase, known to most of his intimates: “Up-Yours”!  Sometimes he’d say this just for fun and then give-out with a big laugh.

Finally he was a humble and unassuming devoted Catholic. He and his wonderful wife Patti, his spiritual soul-mate, had four outstanding children and (so-far) ten grandchildren and counting. I know that Patti and their entire close extended family will carry-on all of these grand religious and family traditions and nothing will ever change that.

Finally, John had “a thing” for very old men and he enjoyed a couple of paintings in his home of old men sitting, with canes and pipes, in humble settings peacefully enjoying each other’s company.

Neil Young is one of our favorite singer/songwriters. Just as in his following rendition of “Long May You Run”, I know that John’s legacy will run forever. I also know that he would have appreciated the crusty looking old man who Neil Young has become, as you will see in this video.

We hope you will enjoy this musical tribute to John.

God’s Blessings to you and you loved ones.

Tom and Sally

You can dismiss the ad at the beginning of the song.


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