DOW - William “Ed” Koenig, 86, of Dow, left a long legacy of service to the county government and the United States, Air Force, when he died on Sunday, January 9, 2022, at his residence. In addition to his career as an Air Force pilot and farmer, he also served on the Jersey County Board for 26 years. While he officially left the board last year, his son - Ed Koenig Jr. - has since been appointed to fulfill the remainder of the time on the board.

William Jersey County Board Chairman Don Little said Koenig had no shortage of captivating stories to tell from his lifetime of experiences.

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“Ed was a very interesting guy to talk to. I found conversations about his flying and military service to be absolutely fascinating. The guy had flown a variety of aircraft,” Little said. “The aircraft designation was ‘flying hospital,’ where he flew in and picked up wounded troops in Vietnam and flew them back to Guam … to evacuate them out of Vietnam, sometimes under fire.”

When Little and Koenig served in the same board district, Little got to know Koenig quite well - not only as a politician, but also as a person and a pilot.

“He was a long-time farmer who had that constituency that would elect and re-elect him,” Little said. “He had strong opinions on the role of government, particularly in the accounting level. He had a conservative bent as far as what government could do and should do.”

“But overall, I remember him as sitting down and talking, listening to his stories and experiences as an Air Force pilot,” Little said. “He lived a very interesting life. He started out with B-25 bombers after World War II ended and three other variations of cargo. I would ask him one question and he’d take off (figuratively) with stories on that, and I found it absolutely fascinating to listen to those stories.”

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Koenig was born on July 18, 1935, in Michael, Calhoun County, the fourth of six children. He married Marjorie Koenig on June 11, 1960, in Beatrice, Nebraska.

Koenig graduated from Jersey Community High School in 1953. After graduation, he became a pilot in the Air Force and Active Reserves flying B-25 bombers, KC-97 tankers, C-124 Globemasters and C-9A Nightingales, eventually retiring with the rank of Major.

Outside of the Air Force, he enjoyed flying his Cessna 172 at a private airstrip he constructed on his 1,000-acre farm in Jersey County, which he also enjoyed farming with his father and son. Koenig even taught his son and two daughters how to fly, and all of his children ended up earning their private pilot’s licenses.

In addition to his parents, Charles and Alma Koenig, he was preceded in death by his two sisters, Mary Jean Heath and Doris Hall, and one brother, Charles J. Koenig. He is survived by two siblings, Edna Melcher and Ervin Koenig; his three children, Edward Koenig Jr., Judy Croxford, and Diane Wendell; 14 grandchildren, Sharon Koenig, Jennifer Seiber, Amanda Wiebeck, Rachel Koenig, Katie Price, Alex, Ryan and Cody Croxford, Dan Wendell, Kathleen, Matt, Mark, Alan and Christine Wendell; and five great-grandchildren.

Koenig was laid to rest in the St. Francis Xavier Cemetery with military honors conducted by the Jerseyville American Legion Post #492 Color Guard.

Memorials may be made to Holy Ghost Catholic Church or St. Francis/Holy Ghost School, where his children and grandchildren attended.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William "Ed" Koenig, please visit the Crawford Funeral Home Tribute Store.

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