John P. Kushenbach, 90

Manufacturing engineer

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John Philip Kushenbach, 90, of Williamstown, Massachusetts, died Saturday, Nov.30, 2019 at Berkshire Medical Center. He was born in Chicago on March 5, 1929, the son of Philip Joseph Kushenbach and Margaret Frances (nee Hillbrook) Kushenbach. He attended schools in both Chicago and Brookfield.

Mr. Kushenbach was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. During the Korean War, he served as an airplane mechanic on Okinawa, which fostered his lifelong passion for planes.

In his later years Mr. Kushenbach enjoyed building and flying radio-controlled airplanes with members of the Checkerboard RC Club in Forest Park. At the time of his retirement, he was employed as a manufacturing engineer in the dental handpiece industry following extensive early training as a tool and die maker.

Due to his keen mechanical mind, his family was hard-pressed to find anything he could not fix.

After meeting at a community dance in Topeka, Kansas, he and Glenda Jane Miller were married on Aug.19, 1950. Their union endured for nearly 57 years before her death in 2007.

John and Glenda often spoke fondly of the brief time they lived in Ireland. In addition to their European travels, they crisscrossed the U.S. and Canada many times in their trusty camping trailer, Daisy.

Mr. Kushenbach is survived by his daughter, Karen Kowitz of Williamstown, and two grandchildren, Spencer (Annie) Kowitz and Marta Kowitz. He is survived by two brothers, Roger Kushenbach and Thomas Kushenbach, as well as nieces and nephews. Besides his wife, Mr. Kushenbach was predeceased by his son, J. Philip Kushenbach Jr., and his sister, Mary Jankowski.

A celebration of his life will take place on Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at Sweetwood, 1611 Cold Spring Road, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Burial will take place in Illinois next spring.

Friends may make donations in his name to Soldier On of Pittsfield, an organization that provides veterans with shelter and support.

Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Home, North Adams, Massachusetts, handled arrangements. To add to the Book of Memories, visit

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