Frank Kostecki, 81, of Spencer, passed away Sunday, July 27, 2014 at Akron General Visiting Nurse Hospice Care in Copley, after a long illness. Frank was born April 24, 1933 in Nova, Ohio – after which, at 14 years of age, the family moved to Spencer.
He graduated from Spencer High (now Black River District). Frank helped choose the farm in Spencer – as it had many places available to trap. Frank trapped his first muskrat at the age eight – which molded his life for the future. Being an avid trapper led him to being a fur buyer for many years – buying from other dealers and “trucking” them to New York each week. The income from buying and selling furs allowed him to purchase properties (flipping). He also was a farmer; specifically hay; and a siding contractor. At age 17, along with his Dad, he started delivering fruit – specifically peaches – to the local Amish. He purchased and renovated the grocery store in Spencer – currently called Main Street Market.
He built Kosky’s Trading Post in Sullivan – which was in existence for 22 years – where he test marketed his many novelties – one of the attractions at the Post were three live buffalo.
Later, when it became unfashionable to wear furs, he made trips to the Ohio Senate and presented his case for hunting and trapping, opposing those who felt it was wrong to hunt and trap wildlife. He made the centerfold of the Columbus Weekly with his statements. Eventually, in his lifetime, he saw the fur market “come back” the last few years. His diversification included oil and gas; but not as an oil tycoon.
Although very successful with his diversified choices of careers; and also a very adventurous life, he had always wanted to be a singer and go into comedy. The comedic personality came out by his telling jokes and stories and also in his invention of his novelty line – the first being – Kosky’s Creamed Possum-Garnished in Coon Fat Gravy – sold all across the U.S. His singing personality came out in his renditions of “Teddy Bear Picnic” to the grandchildren, etc.
When a company proposed a toxic waste incinerator for Nova, Frank and several others formed Citizens Against Pollution and within a few weeks presented the C.A.P. Pioneer Spirit Festival 1987-1996 – a fund raiser to defeat the proposal. At the festival, he befriended many Native Americans. They named the large Cottonwood, where the festival was held, “Little Big Tree” as they felt humble in its’ presence.
Frank is survived by his wife, Marjorie; children, David (Debra) Kostecki of Brook Park, Don (Vicki) Kostecki of Spencer, Dianne Kostecki Tefs of Sullivan, Debra Kostecki Henderson of Lodi, Denise Kostecki of LaGrange, Dan (Laurie) Kostecki of Solon, Dawn Kostecki Stuart (David) of Spencer; grandchildren, Ryan (Brenda) Kostecki, Nick (Leah) Kostecki, Shylah (Jeremy) Quast, Justin Kostecki, Makayla Stuart, Joshua Stuart; great-grandchildren, Greenlee, Mallory, Nick and Marley Kostecki, Isabel, Isaiah and Isaac Quast; first wife and mother of his children, Mary Lou of Lodi; sister, Virginia (Mike) Ehlert; step-daughter, Gena Burrow Stillwell (Michael) of Chesterville/Mt. Gilead, Ohio; step-son, Gene W. Burrow of Burlington, Washington; step-grandchildren, John Dickerson, Shyanne Burrow, Andrew Stillwell, Chace Hunter Burrow and Jenna Stillwell; nephew, Pastor Mike (Pam) Manosky, Joshua and Jackie; nieces, Kim Kostecki of Medina, Laurie Kostecki Carrico of Westlake; sister-in-law, Louise Kostecki of Westlake; and many English and Amish friends.
Frank was preceded in death by his father, Frank Kostecki; mother, Anna Ambrose Kostecki; sisters, Wanda Benedetto (Dick Benedetto), Rita Manosky (Tony Manosky); and brother, Ted Kostecki.
Pastor Mike Manosky will officiate at a Memorial latter part of August.
Memorial contributions may be made to any of the following: Sugar Ridge Baptist Church, North Ridgeville, OH – Pastor Mike and Pam Manosky, Akron General Visiting Nurse Hospice Care in Copley, OH, Catalyst Life Services – Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Mansfield, OH or St. Judes.