John Coskran in his 1947 yearbook photo

John Coskran in his 1947 yearbook photo

Please remember in your prayers John Coskran, 91, who died Oct. 16. Coskran was a 1947 graduate and also Mr. Tommy in 1944. He received the alumni association’s Humanitarian Award in 1994 to signify his life’s work as a social worker and, since 1962, was one of the leaders of Catholic Charities here in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Mass of Christian burial will take place 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, at Mary, Mother of the Church, 3333 East Cliff Road, Burnsville, with visitation from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the White Funeral Home, 12804 Nicollet Ave. S., Burnsville, and one hour prior to Mass at church. In lieu of flowers, memorials will be donated to Catholic Charities. Read his obituary online.

Coskran held social worker positions in several Minnesota communities before starting work at Catholic Charities in 1962. He and his boss, Monsignor J. Jerome Boxleitner, helped  Catholic Charities grow from fewer than a dozen people in the mid-1960s to 8,500 in 1993.

The Humanitarian Award is presented by the St. Thomas Alumni Association for contributions to the spiritual and material betterment of people who are less fortunate. The plaque presented to Coskran in 1994 read: “Your three decades as associate director of Catholic Charities and your lifelong commitment to helping the less fortunate embody the very best in humanitarian service.”

In his acceptance speech, Coskran noted, “St. Thomas, through its dedicated and patient professors, lay and religious, taught us about the encyclicals and the rich church history on issues of social justice.”

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