Earl Thomas Koskie, 82, passed away suddenly Monday, March 28 at his home in Minden. Earl will be remembered as a strong and trustworthy man who knew his Lord well, loved his family and did his life’s work to the best of his ability.
Earl was born in Santa Rita, Texas on Sept. 28, 1933 to Fred and Gladys (Leatherwood) Koskie. The family farmed and worked in the oilfield, following booms from south Texas to Pennsylvania. The family eventually moved to Flora, Illinois while he was still a boy, and when he went to Flora High School he met his wife to be, Billy Jean Baity. Together they would raise four children: Earl Jr., Lee Ann, Steven Joe and Billy Eugene. In their early years, like his parents, Earl and Billy Jean followed the oilfield throughout the Rocky Mountains and Midwest until they reached Minden in early 1961 where they put down roots. While Earl would end up working throughout Louisiana, offshore Louisiana, east Texas and south Arkansas, Minden would be home.
For nearly 50 years, Earl and Billy Jean loved having a big family. They blended life lessons and love in a practical way. With words and deeds they emphasized the importance of education, personal responsibility and trustworthiness. Achievements were celebrated. Disappointments were consoled. The future was a goal to anticipate and work for. Billy Jean passed away in January 2001, three months before their 50th anniversary.
Earl appreciated and respected hard work, loved the oilfield and he was suited to the industry. He was proud he learned to plow with a team of horses as a boy and that he “broke-out” roughnecking when he was old enough to handle a set of tongs. As a toolpusher, he set records throughout the Ark-La-Tex and offshore with the technology of the day for drilling wells quickly, efficiently and safely. All three of his sons followed him to the oilfield, working as roughnecks to pay for college.
Earl’s faith in God was absolute. When his daughter, Lee Ann, was diagnosed and eventually succumbed to Hodgkins Disease at the age of 22, his faith and family saw him through. The legacy of his faith is like the Centurion of the Gospels; a simple undebatable fact.
Life held a special blessing for Earl when he married Pam Cawthon four years ago. They shared a lot of love and laughter in that time. In recent months as Earl dealt with health issues he relied on Pam’s love, care and compassion that clearly came from her heart. Both families saw their marriage as a renewal for both Earl and Pam. She will miss him greatly.
Pallbearers will be his sons, Earl Jr., Steven and Bill Koskie, grandsons Earl III, Joe Koskie and Billy Koskie.
Earl is preceded in death by his wife, Billy Jean; daughter, Lee Ann; parents, Fred and Gladys; and brother, Fred Jr. He is survived by his wife, Pam; sons and wives, Earl Jr. and Lani, Steven and Margaret, Bill and Janet and Donnie Cawthon. Siblings, Aletha Koskie, Ruby Hurst, Bo and Barb Koskie, Thelma and Joe Agnes and Richard and Eileen Koskie. Earl’s claim to fame was that he had repopulated the western United States with 14 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements have been made through Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden. Visitation is from 5 until 7 p.m. Wednesday with funeral services at the Rose-Neath chapel at 3 p.m. Thursday with interment following at Gardens of Memory in Minden. Earl’s grandson, Dr. Joe Koskie will officiate.
Memorials may be sent to Antioch United Methodist Church, PO Box 143, Simsboro, LA 71275 where grandson Joe Koskie is the minister, American Cancer Society or charity of your choice.