Nancy Koss, the wife of Koss Corp. founder John C. Koss and an instrumental part of the company’s founding, died Monday at the age of 85, according to a Koss Corp. announcement.
Koss was founded in 1953 as Koss Hospital Television Rental Co. John Koss spent the family’s life savings to purchase 50 broken-down televisions for repair with the plan of renting them to hospital patients.
“It was clearly a ‘Mom-and-Pop’ operation at the beginning,” said Michael J. Koss, Koss chairman and chief executive officer and Nancy and John’s son. “If mother had been skeptical, dad’s first idea might have been slid to the back burner.”
In 1958, the company developed the first SP/3 Stereophone. Nancy Koss helped bake Royalite earcups for headphones in her kitchen oven and then would make meals for John Koss and the friend who came over to assemble the first models.
“I suppose that made her our first head of production at the same time that she was busy producing five children,” said Michael Koss.
The couple, who first met and dated as teenagers, were married for nearly 66 years. They eventually had 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Nancy was born in Milwaukee and attended Atwater School, Shorewood High School and the Layton School of Art. She worked with local charities including The Boys and Girls Club, Junior Achievement and the Milwaukee Art Museum. She was also a member of the Raleigh Tavern Society of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.
“Mother’s legacy lives on through her family and the company she helped bring to life,” Michael Koss said. “she played an instrumental role in creating our American Dream.”
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Jan. 15 at the North Shore Congregational Church 7330 N. Santa Monica Boulevard in Fox Point. The family will greet visitors at the church until a 2 p.m. private internment. The family has asked for donations to The Colonial Williamsburg Fund, P.O. Box 1776 Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-9910 in lieu of flowers.