POLAND — Richard L. Kosek, 88, died peacefully in his sleep, Thursday, April 6, 2023, at The Inn at Poland Way.
He was born Jan. 3, 1935, in Struthers, a son of John and Nellie Makarski Kosek.
Rick was a 1954 graduate of Struthers High School and a United States Army veteran from 1954-56. He was a lifelong resident of Struthers and drove school bus for Struthers Schools for over 40 years. Prior to bus driving full time, he also worked as a welder at GATX in Masury for 20 years.
Rick and his wife Judy moved to The Inn at Poland Way four years ago. They enjoyed and participated in all the activities and field trips. Rick especially liked all the musical entertainment and danced the polka with everyone there. He did senior yoga and stretch classes. He walked three miles daily at 6 a.m., and woke up friends who had a hard time hearing their alarm. He was affectionately referred to as the “Mayor of the Inn” because he greeted all the new residents, showed them around and patiently answered all their questions. He enjoyed helping out in the dining room by cleaning tables and assisting residents who were not as able bodied as him. He was very proud and excited when he was recently elected as Resident Council president.
Rick was a very active supporter of Struthers sports, becoming the unofficial mascot to girls soccer and varsity baseball. He was a fan of all Ohio sports, but nothing compared to his love of the Cleveland Browns. He had enough memorabilia and souvenirs to fill the entire family room of his Struthers home. He also had a 1986 Blazer that was dubbed the “Brownsmobile.” He had it painted orange and brown. Then Betsey at The Artist at Work added “DAWGS” and paw prints on each side. He was so proud of the Brownsmobile, he handed out photos of it to everyone he met. He never left the house without wearing something Browns and having a packet of those photos in his pocket.
He was also very proud of his Polish heritage. He loved pirohy, haluski and kolachi. Rick was a huge fan of polka music and dancing the polka. He loved dancing and listening to his favorite band and friend, Del Sinchak.
He was a member of SNPJ. Summer was his favorite season, as he loved all the church festivals, and ethnic food and music.
He worked very hard to have the perfect yard and garden, and then he took care of the garden at his new home at the Inn. He liked fishing with his brothers, son and grandsons. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and he made friends everywhere he went.
Rick married Judith Irene Kosek, July 19, 1958, at St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church. She preceded him in death on May 13, 2022. They were blessed with nearly 64 years together.
Rick is survived by his daughter, Denise (Glenn) Esposito of Poland; son, Richard G. (Sheila) Kosek of Atlanta, Ga.; brothers, Kenny (Patti) Kosek of Struthers and Bernie Kosek of Wellsville; and grandchildren, Eric and Evin Esposito, Kendall, Nicholas and Courtney Kosek.
In addition to his parents and wife, Rick was preceded in death by his brother, Edward Kosek; and sister-in-law, Anna Marie Kosek.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, May 26, 2023, at Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Poland Chapel, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, May 27, 2023, at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m.
In Rick’s memory, please wear your favorite Cleveland Browns attire.
The family would like to extend their gratitude and appreciation to all the staff at The Inn at Poland Way, for making his most senior years special.