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Colleagues remember faculty member who drowned in Wisconsin River

UPDATE (WKOW) — A family is grieving the loss of a Madison father who drowned while trying to rescue his children from the Wisconsin river.

Friends, family and coworkers are remembering Kou Her as a passionate man, dedicated to improving peoples lives.

“Kou is a real hero to many people,” Chris Vandall, who worked with Kou at Madison College, said.

A page has been set up HERE.

Kou went missing Saturday morning on the Wisconsin river during an outing with his wife and 3 children, all younger than 9.

According to deputies, Kou and his wife swam into the river to get their kids who were drifting away while swimming.

He brought one of them to shore, but when he went back out, he slipped under the water and drowned.

His wife and other 2 kids were rescued.

His body was found downstream, 10 miles away.

Vandall and Kou her worked together at Madison area technical college for years.

When he got the news Saturday, he didn’t want to believe it.

“Like many parents, I’m sure Kou never hesitated in doing what he had to do to save his children,” Vandall said.

He said that Kou had spent nearly 30 years working at the college helping students get their high school diplomas.

“Every day he was passionate about serving students, passionate about working with his colleagues,” Vandall said.

But he says Kou’s work extended far beyond the college campus, being a leader in helping plan the Hmong New Year.

His culture was very important to him.

“Kou was involved in a lot of different kind of work and is going to be missed by everyone,”

He posted frequently on his YouTube page.

He shared videos of his wife and children and his work as an amateur Christian music artist.

MADISON (WKOW) — Madison College today expressed condolences to the family of a faculty member who drowned over the weekend in an accident on the Wisconsin River near Prairie du Sac.

“Our hearts go out to the family of Kou Her, who passed away this weekend after an accidental drowning,” the college posted in a tweet. “He was a full-time faculty member in the School of Academic Advancement for 29 years. Kou provided instruction for high school completion programs. He will be missed.”

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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