Wallace (Wally) J. Kosinski
Mass of Christian Burial for Wallace Kosinski, 89, of Painesville Township will be 10:00 a.m. Friday at St. Gabriel Church, 9925 Johnnycake Ridge Road, Concord Township 44060. Wallace died September 13, 2019 at TriPoint Medical Center in Concord.
He was born October 26, 1929 in Bloomfield, New Jersey to the John and Albina Kosinski. His parents were immigrants from Poland, and Wallace was the youngest of eight children. Wallace's father was one of the founders of the largest Polonian fraternal organizations in New Jersey. Wallace graduated from Bloomfield High School in 1946. In Fall of 1948, Wallace left his native state to head for Ohio and Hiram College, and though he had never played high school sports, he starred as a quarterback on the football team, and was eventually inducted into the college's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.
Kosinski's powerful passing arm had caught the attention of Paul Brown and also, scouted as a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. A contract with the Cleveland Browns was negated because the Korean War had broken out in 1950 and Kosinski faced military service upon graduation in 1952. He enlisted in the United States Air Force. Wallace was fluent in the Polish language and spent the bulk of his military years in Germany serving in an intelligence unit as a Polish language specialist in the USAF Security Service.
Through her brother, Wallace met his future wife Mary Fyllis Falcone of Painesville. He came home from leave in 1955 and married his sweetheart in St. Mary's Church, Painesville. Before her untimely passing in 2004, the couple was married shy of 50 years. Wallace and Mary were frequent visitors to Poland. In 1980, the Kosinski's had been living in Poland while the Professor was conducting research at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow on a Kosciuszko Foundation Grant. During this time, they witnessed the birth of Solidarity at the Gdansk shipyards and firsthand the crushing of the Polish freedom movement in December 1981 with the imposition of martial law. Kosinski met and interviewed many influential Polish leaders, including Lech Walesa. A 1952 graduate of Hiram College, Wallace obtained a Master's Degree at John Carroll University and a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University. He began his teaching career at Chardon High School and later spent 30 years in the History department at John Carroll University.
He had an active interest in the Cleveland Polish community and became involved in the Cleveland Society of Poles from 1977-1987, holding various offices including President. In recognition of his distinguished contribution to Cleveland's Polish-American community, Professor Kosinski received the Pulaski Award by the Polonia Foundation of Ohio, and in 1992 was honored as The Cleveland Society "Good Joe."
For 25 years he was a professional photographer. He was a trained violinist and one of his greatest joys was listening to his extensive collection of classical music recordings. First and foremost, Wallace was deeply devoted to his family.
Survivors are his daughter, Erica Kosinski of Painesville Township; son, John of Painesville Township and grandson, Christopher and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Albina (Jesionowska) Kosinski and siblings Genevieve (Michael) Novitski, Edward (Alice) Kosinski, Celia (Karol) Siedlecki, Monica (John) Jerusik, Claire (Victor) Dettlaff, Ralph (Veronica) Kosinski and Alexandra Kosinski.
Friends may call from 4 to 7p.m. Thursday at Spear-Mulqueeny Funeral Home, 667 Mentor Ave., Painesville. The Rev. Fred Pausche of St. Gabriel Church and Rev. Timothy J. Plavac of St. Bede the Venerable Parish will officiate at services. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Painesville.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions In his name to the St. Gabriel Church Marian Shrine or Hiram College Athletic Football program, c/o Hiram College, Alumni and Developement Office P. O. BOX 67 Hiram OH 44234.
For more information and directions, visit www.spear-mulqueeny.com.
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St. Gabriel Church Marian Shrine
9925 Johnnycake Ridge Road, Concord Township OH 44077
Hiram College Athletic Football program
c/o Hiram College, Alumni and Developement Office P. O. BOX 67, Hiram OH 44234