Dr. James Michael Kohut

February 9, 1952 ~ March 26, 2022 (age 70) 70 Years Old
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Cortland - Dr. James Michael Kohut, 70, passed away on March 26, 2022, at St. Joseph’s Hospital.


Born February 9, 1952, he was the youngest of Joseph and Helen Kohut’s six children.


James grew up in Newton Falls, graduating in 1970.  He completed his undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University in 1974 and his MBA from Youngstown State University in 1980.  James achieved his Ed.D. from the University of Akron in 1988.

He met his wife, Barbara Rae, by chance on his last night of summer vacation in Virginia Beach in 1972.  They corresponded by letters, then dated long distance until they got married in 1975.  James and Rae built their family via adoption, adding three daughters to complete their family.


James spent most of his adult career working as a faculty member at Youngstown State University, instructing thousands of students who chose classes within the Williamson College of Business.  He retired in 2013 after 31 years in the classroom, including more than a decade as Marketing Department chair.  When he wasn’t working, he was an active volunteer at the Cortland Conservation Club (CCC), St. Joseph’s Health Center, and his longtime parish, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community.  James also enjoyed big band and high school sports radio, a good cigar, endless episodes of Law and Order, and most importantly, spending time with his daughters and granddaughters.


James leaves behind his wife of 46 years, Rae Kohut, and his daughters Kelly Dirkes (Kyle), Mallory Peña (Jarrod), and Emily Kohut (Devin VanHorn).  He is also survived by his siblings and siblings in law, Burton Kohut (Dorothy), Frederick Kohut (Loretta), Barbara Carrier (Roger), and William Burick (Betsy).  Most of all, James will be missed by the girls who called him Grandpa–Charlotte, Louisa, and Margaret Dirkes, Peyton Burich, Isabella VanHorn, and Joselyn Peña.


James will be greeted in Heaven by his parents, his sisters Nancy Kohut and Frances Burick, and his granddaughter, Grace Dirkes.


At his request, no calling hours will be held and internment services at All Souls’ Cemetery were private.


James’ family requests that any material contributions be made to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library or St. Joseph’s Health Center Volunteer Program.


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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

St. Joseph’s Health Center Volunteer Program


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