It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Kory Robert Kuran on May 17, 2021. He was born in Marinette, Wis., on September 5, 1970, to Carol (Weber) Pomrenke and the late Kim Kuran. After graduating from Peshtigo High School in 1988, Kory studied abroad in Japan for one year. He returned to the United States to obtain his undergraduate degree in Business and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. By this time, he knew in his heart that he would return to Japan.
During his 27 years in Japan, Kory worked, played, lived, and studied in various places. He eventually settled in Osaka where he married his wife, Tomomi Watano, in 2001. They have two daughters: Konomi (age 16) and Kotomi (age 5). Kory earned a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics. He was a published author of research papers on language development and bilingualism in children. His research is widely used in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. After earning his graduate degree, he taught English at two universities in Osaka. Both of his daughters speak multiple languages.
Kory was wicked smart, quick with the jokes, and never above poking fun at himself. His brain was filled with witty sarcasm, useful insight, and useless facts. His wife, Tomomi, affectionately referred to him as her “human internet.” Kory faithfully returned to Wisconsin many times over the years, always keeping in touch with family and friends from his home state. Although he lived more years in Japan than in the U.S., he always kept up on Western politics, culture, and trends. He wouldn’t miss a televised Green Bay Packer game even when it meant getting up with his father-in-law at 3:00 a.m. in Japan.
Kory was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents; his father: Kim Kuran; his stepfather, Bob Pomrenke; and his father-in-law and dear friend Tadashi Watano. He leaves behind his wonderful, devoted wife Tomomi Watano; two beautiful daughters: Konomi and Kotomi; his mother Carol (Weber) Pomrenke; his mother-in-law Fusami Watano; one brother Kevin Kuran; three sisters: Kelly Kuran, Kolleen Bakkum, and Keri Shehan; many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins as well as old and new friends from all over the world.
Without a doubt, Kory was an accomplished, funny, sensitive, kind human being. He is gone from this world far too soon. There is a void in our lives that not even time will fill. We know his spirit soars free now and the best of him is still living all around us. He is stardust. He is love. He is the light in his daughters’ eyes. On behalf of Kory’s American family, we would like to express our deepest and most sincere gratitude to Kei Shino for her unwavering support in the translation and communication with Kory’s family and doctors in Japan.
A memorial social will be held on Friday, June 25, 2021 at Murray’s Irish Pub and Grill on 1st Street in Menominee, Mich. Please join us in the upstairs reception room from 4:00-7:00PM for hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Let us gather to honor, mourn, and celebrate the Kory we all knew and loved.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in support of Kory’s daughters’ education. Donations can be made payable to Tri-County Credit Union, 2205 Hall Ave. #107, Marinette, WI 54143.
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