George William Kosko passed away peacefully at home in Stockton, CA, on November 19, 2020, surrounded by family, after a battle with cancer. He was 93.
George and his wife, Joan, had lived with their daughter and son-in-law in Stockton since July 6, 2019. Previously they lived in Sonora, CA, for 15 years, and prior to that, in Patterson, CA, for 45 years.
George was born on February 7, 1927, in Greensburg, PA.
A private first class in the United States Army, Company B, 47th Infantry, 9th Division during World War II, he trained for combat in Japan, but ultimately served in the Army of Occupation in Germany after the war ended. He was a patriot, loved his country, and was grateful to be an American.
A self-employed diesel and agriculture equipment mechanic for most of his life, he also farmed apricots, then walnuts, on the five-acre family farm in Patterson, CA. He could grow or fix anything, and he worked hard every day of his life.
Survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan (Ross), whom he met square-dancing, he frequently told the story of that first meeting, and how he knew at first sight that she was ‘the one’, his ‘life-long pal.’ He adored her. He and Joan raised 5 children, Joe (Suzi), Steven (Carmelita), Henry (Christine), Katie, and Lucy (Steven) who all survive him. He was their hero. He was a proud and engaged grandfather and treasured Jenay, Steven, John, Terri Joe, Marion, Elizabeth, Christopher, and Zofia, and great-grandchildren, Colton, Carson, Alara, James, Morgan, Chase, Blake, Brooke, Beckham, Aiden, Oliver, Liam, and one more ‘on the way.’ He is also survived by his dear older sister, Margaret Patula, with whom he shared the same happy, positive disposition, no matter what challenges life brought, and many, many nieces and nephews and their families. He is predeceased by his parents John and Lucy, and his younger brother, John.
His family was his life, and he was happiest when surrounded by this loud, joyous gang, sharing home-cooked food, a little red wine, and his favorite dessert, Joan’s home-made pie. He loved to fish and could frequently be found trolling for trout at New Melones Reservoir throughout his retirement. A gifted gardener and farmer, he raised his family on produce fresh out of the garden, fresh eggs, chickens, and rabbits, which he expertly dressed and prepared for Joan to cook. He loved to be outdoors, and was most at peace when hoeing, planting, harvesting, or tilling.
A devoted and faith-filled Catholic, he served with the Knights of Columbus for over 60 years, was a Fourth Degree Knight, and held multiple leadership roles over his lifetime. A tireless and fierce defender of life, he prayed, worked, supported, and volunteered for many pro-life organizations and causes. In his 80s, he undertook a fund-raising campaign with his fellow Knights to raise money for the purchase of a much-needed new ultrasound machine for the local pregnancy center in Sonora, CA. He would never acknowledge his key role in this effort, but always insisted he was only ‘one of many’ who worked hard to achieve this goal.
A voracious reader, he taught himself everything, including how to build a solar water heater system, make wine, design and repair new harvester models, the history of anything, his Christian faith, or a deeper understanding of the United States Constitution; he was a life-long learner.
George’s love of life, and enjoyment of simple pleasures, even when suffering through cancer, made his 93 years too short for those who knew and loved him. He will be missed.
Funeral details to be determined at a future date. Inquiries for further information may be made to Lucy Hamer, Lucy-Hamer@outlook.com