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  • Interesting Obit

    While perusing the local obits, I noticed a picture of a man with what looks like a theater organ console behind him. I had never heard of this man, but I found his obituary really interesting. I thought others might enjoy reading it as well. Below is a redacted version:



    Cogswell, David L 6/17/1941 - 4/13/2018 Ft. Wayne, IN David Leslie Cogswell, age 76, passed away peacefully but not unexpectedly the morning of April 13, 2018 in Ft Wayne, Indiana. Although he lived in many places over the years, his main residence prior to retiring was Wyoming, Michigan where he was a popular and well-loved teacher of music. He spent just under 30 years as a teacher with Wyoming Public Schools, teaching students of all grades. He enjoyed his nickname "Cogsy" or "The Cogs," but was most often simply known around town as "Mr. Cogswell."

    Born in Nashville Michigan, he developed polio at the age of 12, and spent six weeks in bed, unable to walk. But through extensive therapy, mostly from his father, he eventually regained his ability to walk. He studied piano and organ extensively, which his skill of perfect pitch helped greatly as he enjoyed playing everything from Rachmaninov to Broadway showtunes. At one point he took up accordion, and would sit on the front porch playing it, embarrassing his mother to no end. He played the organ for church services at age 12, and the organ at the roller skating rink at Thornapple Lake. In high school he formed a jazz band with three classmates. They entered a competition but were later asked to leave the competition because they were too good and participating would be unfair to the other competitors, even though the other competitors were adults -- at least that's how the story grew over time.

    He went on to major in Music Education at Western Michigan University. He spent Sundays playing the church organ at the campus Lutheran church. He married Patricia Ann Anderson, and went on to have four children. He then took a job as a music teacher in Wyoming Public Schools, where he stayed for almost three decades, teaching thousands of students, mostly choir, but occasionally band, along with private piano and organ instruction. He made choir fun by letting the kids choose their favorite rock songs to sing as he played the music on the piano. He let them sing AC/DC songs, Styx songs, and more. Sometimes he even let them change the lyrics, with Journey's Open Arms becoming Broken Arms.

    Meanwhile, he took on side jobs that included playing the organ and leading the choir at Olivet United Methodist in Grand Rapids, and later Christ Lutheran Church in Wyoming. He also played the Mighty Wurlitzer organ at Good Time Charley's which was a pizza place previously known as The Roaring 20s. He had a terrific sense of humor. While playing at church services, he would often sneak familiar melodies into the hymns, such as Take Me Out to the Ballgame; very few people even noticed and the pastors never knew to this day, which is why he never lost his job.

    Bill

    My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

  • #2
    There is a David Cogswell who died several years ago. He was the head of Berkshire Organ Company in Springfield, MA. I doubt he had children, though. I wonder if they're related?

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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