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Widow recalls unique romance with man killed in car accident

August 10, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

Diane Koole met her husband, James "JJ" Koole Sr., over the Internet in 1999 and, after hitting it off, they decided to meet over breakfast in Frederick, Md.

"We spent about a half day at that breakfast. Then, on our first date, he brought me three purple roses which I still have pressed," she said.

Married on Valentine's Day 2002, the Kooles were living in Greencastle, Pa., when JJ Koole was killed Saturday in a two-vehicle accident near Myersville, Md., as he was coming home from work at Fort Detrick in Frederick.

"He had only been working a day shift there for three days and he wasn't used to it yet," Diane Koole said.

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He would get up at 4 a.m., leave home at 5 a.m. and be at work at 6 a.m., she said. He was returning home at 3:30 p.m. when the accident occurred.

Koole's 1994 Saturn crossed the center line on U.S. 40 and hit another vehicle head-on west of Brethren Church Road.

Diane Koole said her husband's usual shift had been from 2 to 10 p.m. since Christmas.

"He was in maintenance at Fort Detrick at first, and then he became a dispatcher for the fire department there," she said.

She said Tuesday she still can't believe her husband is gone nor can his many friends at VFW Post 6241, Moose Lodge 1790 and American Legion Post 517, all of Mercersburg, Pa., and Williamsport Red Men Tribe 84.

Tuesday she was preparing a display noting some of his accomplishments for the funeral services. Koole, 52, was a scuba diver, firefighter and emergency medical technician.

Among those items is a certificate from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police for his actions in Feb. 1998 rescuing two fishermen whose boat capsized in the Nanticoke River in Cambridge, Md.

"He was a wonderful man," she said.

Services will be Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Mount Tabor Lutheran Church, Fairview, Md. The Rev. Hank Mansell will officiate. Burial will be in Mount Tabor Lutheran Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, Hagerstown.

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