Archie J. Kouba, 89, Watford City, formerly of Alamo, Williston, and Minot, died on Saturday, April 3, 2010, in a Watford City nursing home.
Archie was born on July 30, 1920, in McLean County near Max, N.D. to Jim and Carrie (Sherbina) Kouba. After graudating from Minot High School, Archie entered military service in 1942 and served in the U.S. Navy until his discharge in 1945. He served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II. He served a short time on a submarine and then was a Fire Controlman First Class on the USS Forrest DD-461, where he experienced kamikaze attacks and his ship being hit. Following his honorable discharge, Archie taught an electronics course at F.E. Warren Military Base in Wyoming before he returned to Minot. He attended Minot State Teachers College where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.
Archie married Stella Knapstad, a 32-year-old agent for the Great Northern/Burlington Northern Railroad, on March 2, 1951, in Cheyenne, Wyo. They made their home at various places where she was the depot agent and he was an educator, principal or superintendant. He taught at McGregor and Trenton and was principal at Alamo prior to serving as superintendant at Alamo, Taylor and New District Eight near Williston. During the summer months, he earned his master’s degree in school administration from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley. Archie had majored and minored in a wide range of subjects so he taught math, science, English, woodworking and drafting. One of his favorite sayings was “coming to class without a pencil is like going to war without a gun.”
Archie was a member/former member of Williston Church of the Nazarene, American Legion, VFW and ND Association of School Administrators.
He especially enjoyed woodworking, carpentry, reading, golfing (he was a scratch golfer) and cooking. He was an accomplished electrician and mechanical draftsman. In these days of contracts and legalities, a handshake with Archie was binding. His word was his bond. His life’s lessons live on and he will be missed.
Archie’s loving family includes his children: Albert (Rusty) Kouba of Tucson, Ariz., Ronald (Sheila) Kouba of Minot, David (Julie) Kouba of West Fargo and Debbie (Bruce) Erickson of Watford City; grandchildren: Joseph (Carly) Kouba, Tucson, Ariz., Jonothan Kouba, Tucson, Ariz., Jeffrey (Rhonda) Kouba, Blaine, Minn., Kristin (Bill) Pearson, Yorktown, Va., Brian (Nassim) Kouba, Southern Pines, N.C., Michael (Joni) Kouba, Odessa, Texas, Jennifer Kouba, Williston, N.D., Matthew Kouba, Fargo, N.D., Chad (Nicki) Mathiason, Fargo, N.D., Laurie (Jeff) Mill, Frederich, Md., Christopher (Javon) Wahus, Bismarck, N.D., and Jason Wahus, Watford City, N.D.; great-grandchildren: Jordan, Tatyana, Ramsey, Johon, Hanna, Lisanne, Nicholas, Alexander, Makenna, Jace, Tyler, Abby, Jordan, Kennadi, Ciera, and Gunner; sister-in-law Josie Luchsinger of Helena, Mont.; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.