Al Kober was born to Alfred and Mary Kober on their farm in Barton County Kansas. His family relocated to a farm 4 miles East of Bison where he grew up with his 6 younger siblings. He remembered farm life as a lot of hard work but was proud of his heritage and enjoyed playing sports in high school especially with his brother. After graduation attended Dodge City Community College and Fort Hays State University with Basketball and Football Scholarships. In 1958 he and Vena Whittecar were married while he was still in college. He worked as a production welder to make ends meet. After graduation they went to Hutchinson Kansas where he worked as an art teacher plus coached football and basketball at Liberty Jr. High, then taught art at Hutchinson Community College. He completed a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts in 1968. They had 3 kids at the time with their 4th on the way when he applied at Boise State College, where he acquired what became his dream job in the fine arts department. He taught various art classes before settling his focus on sculpture. He was passionate about his students and always challenged them toward excellence while pushing himself as well for 31 years until retirement in 1999. He worked with various media; wood and stone carving, clay, bronze, brass, copper, aluminum and others. He was a gifted welder and particularly enjoyed working with steel and stainless steel. He was a talented jeweler and made many pieces that are cherished by their owners.
Al’s interests were far reaching. He loved to travel to Kansas to visit family and the Oregon coast as well as many points in between. Most of his many hobbies and interests were outdoor related. He loved to hunt and fish with family and friends. He loved backpacking trips into the Idaho high country. He was an accomplished gunstock maker and engraver of firearms. He said he just wanted to “make things better than you can go buy in a store”. Whatever he made with his hands wasn’t done until it was perfect from the tiniest of flies he tied for fun, to a sculpture he made to go in a public place.
Al leaves behind his greatest loves - his wife of 63 years Vena, their son Michael (Sherrie) of Boise, daughter Theresa (Stuart) Stone of Olympia WA, son James (Ivy) of Ontario and Christopher of Cascade plus many grand and great grandchildren. He is also survived by 3 sisters, Leona Prosser of Great Bend KS, Bernadette (Joe) Schmidt of Wamego KS, Helen (Dennis) Beebe of Wichita KS, and brother-in-law Dennis (Peggy) Stolzenburg of Salina KS.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Agnes Kober and Betty Stolzenburg, a brother Virgil (Violet) Kober, and a brother-in-law Gerald Prosser.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in honor of Al to St. Jude or your preferred charity.