John and I worked together in the adjunct office when I first came to MIAD in 2004, and I cherish the memory of our lively conversations. A brilliant intellectual, John was also kind, collegial, and generous as he helped me in my transition to teaching at MIAD. I remember how much I enjoyed talking with him about the philosophies explored in our freshman writing text and how we might best elicit our students’ responses to these concepts. He clearly loved teaching and sought innovative ways to interact with his students. I know he touched many lives both inside and outside his classrooms. The world is a smaller place without John in it. He will be deeply missed, and to his family I extend my heartfelt condolences.
John was a graduate student in the English department at UWM, but I always think of him as a devoted colleague, a serious thinker, a kind teacher, and a good soul. I am sorry I did not get the chance to know him better. I will miss the thoughtful, generous, and kind-hearted smile he’d give as we crossed paths, outside of Curtin Hall, while he was enjoying a cigarette break.
Rest in peace, John.
My condolences to John’s family and friends.
When I met John he was Mr. Couture and in the process of getting his doctorate. He was my writing instructor at Marquette during my summer research with McNair. I thought he was one of the coolest people. He invited me for coffee and just simply took the time to ask about my academic endeavors and my opinions on issues. We also shared a love for good music. He gave me such good feedback on my research, but most of all it was the gentle big blue eyes that left you feeling cared for and listened to. I still can’t get over this and I wish to have one more coffee to catch up on each other’s lives.
I was lucky to have John as my teacher at MIAD. He was truly one of a kind and taught with the most truth I’ve ever known. He graded on our own improvements, since writing is so very subjective. Even though he had the most brilliant mind, he would never let a student, or anyone, feel of inferior intelligence. He made sure we all felt as equals. I will forever be grateful for that, and for him. “Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.” Rossiter W. Raymond
I remember John from Marquette U as an undergrad back in 93-95. John was a smart guy, very well read. We would all congregate in the AMU coffee shop – (not sure if it’s still there). Nevertheless, John (like me) was one of the interesting characters who loved to talk about music. We’d swop CDs and talk about bands. He was a huge Dylan fan (I wasn’t so much). I remember going to some of the Cafes on the East Side with John. We ran into a girl I liked and John was egging me on to get her number. Those were fun times. John was a genuine, kind and caring individual. I never acclimated to Marquette or college in general. John was one of the few people who listened to me gripe about it. No one could ever accuse John of lacking empathy. After college, I lost touch with John as we went our separate ways. I wish we’d stayed in touch.
So sometimes I wonder what happened to old friends like John Couture. When I googled John’s names I was shocked and saddened to see that he passed. He was really a genuinely good guy.
None of know the day or hour, so get right with God. I sense John was good in that respect.
John was my instructor for English at UWM, later became a great friend and team mate for volleyball.
It is because of his patience. Insights, and thought provoking questions I was able to feel confident as a writer myself and educate middle school students on how to write today. Every piece of writing I submitted to John, he would return, compliment on things I did well and then inspire me to look at and analyze that same piece of writing from many different angles.
On the volleyball court, John had a talent unlike no other. I have to laugh when I think of all the plays he was able to save for our team and turn into points because of his quick sets straight over the net, or a crazy dive where all you’d see is the ball soaring over the net and sand flying.
John was always there to lend an ear, share a laugh, provide inspiration, and bring mad game and for that he will be eternally missed. I’m blessed to have called you my friend.
Rest in peace my friend!
John was my english teacher at MIAD many years ago. He was a pivotal figure in my life who taught me new avenues to think in, and was responsible for shaping my ability to express myself in words in ways I never knew before. He was friendly, funny, and intelligent, and I looked up to him like an older brother.
I was lucky enough to hang out with John a few times outside of class and had several wonderful thought provoking conversations that expanded my appreciation of him further. I always hoped to have the chance to speak with him at some point when I passed through Milwaukee ,even nearly 20 years later now, and I am deeply saddened to realize that it is no longer possible. He was unforgettable.
John, may you rest in peace, and thank you for the affect you had on my life.
John was the best kind of person, someone I respected who also made me laugh. And he loved everybody, pretty fiercely and (as far as I could tell) without exception.
I met John at UWM in 2006, when he and I were both Christian academics and neither of us saw that as an oxymoron. But at the time I thought we were a rare breed in that department, and it was a stupid hard year for me. I often wondered if I was in the wrong place. But as I walked into the building for the seminar we had together, John was often outside, smoking, and I got to talk with him. Lots of people have mentioned their conversations with John when he was enjoying a cigarette. For me, chatting with him during that first year was part of how I learned to talk about literary theory and faith in the same sentence. I always wanted to understand those connections as deeply as he did—which never happened—but that was maybe what I’m most grateful for when I remember John. He was so smart and well-read. If someone like John could delve so deep and be stronger for it … well, then I guess a lightweight like me could, too.
The world is poorer without him in it. But as other people have mentioned in their memory posts, he thought hard and played hard. Worked hard and loved hard. Seems like he did the most he could in his short time here. “Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised.” Luke 2:29–32. God bless you, dear friend.
I met John as a freshmen at Marquette University. He was always far deeper & more intellectual than I. He was a gentle, passionate philosopher & I loved to see his smile & hear his kind words. He’d probably think this was too simple or common, but the best way I know to honor him is by sharing a poem I love. To you, John! May we meet again!
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
By Mary Elizabeth Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Fr. Paul H. Colloton, OSFS
I remember John and the Couture family from my days at IHM. I offer you my sympathy and prayer, Marianne, and your family. I will remember John at Mass tomorrow.
Fr. Paul aka Mr. Paul