Michael Joseph Kostelnik, 78, a longtime resident of Dalton and most recently a resident of the Allied Skilled Nursing Center, entered into eternal rest on Sunday surrounded by his loving wife of 53 years following an extended illness. He was the devoted husband of Faye A. (Hocker) Kostelnik to whom he was married since September 24,1966.
Born May 4, 1941 in Peckville, he was the son of the late Michael and Sophie (Fabish) Kostelnik. He attended Saint Michael’s School in Jessup and was a 1959 graduate of Blakely High School.
Upon graduating from high school, Michael served in the Air Force from December 1961 – 1965 at Dover Delaware Air Force Base where was the crew chief for C-133 turbo prop aircrafts. He often shared with his family his military experiences of traveling to Station Nord, Greenland, within the Arctic Circle to deliver winter supplies & was honorably discharged. Michael met the love of his life while serving in the Air Force. His bunk mate introduced him to his girlfriend’s roommate in nurses training and it was “love at first sight”.
Michael was briefly employed at the Tobyhanna Army Depot prior to serving an apprenticeship with Pipefitters Local 524, Moosic. While employed with Local Union 524, Michael was contracted at sites including: Bechtel Corporation - Procter & Gamble, Mehoopany; IBM, Endicott, NY; PP & L Nuclear Plant, Berwick & Honeywell where he serviced contracts for over 25 years with the University of Scranton, Marywood University & Luzerne County Community College.
Michael was a parishioner of Our Lady of the Snows Church. He was a passionate life-time member of Dalton Fire Company serving on the Board of Directors, past Vice- President, past Relief Association Vice-President and Treasurer, and Captain of the Fire Police for 20 years. Michael also played a 20 plus year tradition of serving as one of Santa’s helpers, riding into town on the fire truck & handing out endless candy canes to children of all ages, bringing with it an anticipation of joy and holiday magic. Michael also was a member of the Lackawanna County Fire Police Association, serving as past President. He was a member of the Dalton Business & Professional Association, past co-chair of the Our Lady of the Abingtons Fall Festival, and volunteer for the St Francis of Assisi Kitchen.
Michael enjoyed his two granddaughters, especially holding them as infants and rocking them to sleep. He will be best remembered to them as “Poppy” and his infinite love for having mid- afternoon snacks at the ready when they got off the school bus. Michael had a passion for working on his cars and spent numerous hours during the weekend tinkering under the hood. He enjoyed long motorcycle rides with his daughter, traversing through miles of Northeastern PA. He enjoyed restoring antique cars with his son and took much pride in attending car shows and cruises with his 1970 Ford Ranger and 1979 mint condition Mercury Cougar. Michael had the “gift of gab”, striking casual conversations with strangers and always left them as a friend.
Michael’s family would like to sincerely thank the staff at Allied Services Skilled Nursing Center as well as Dr. Michael Moran for their professional & compassionate care that they provided during his stay.
Surviving in addition to his loving wife, Faye, a son: Kenneth Kostelnik and wife Elizabeth (Ridgeway) of Dalton; daughter: Kathleen (Kostelnik) Wood and husband Robert of Dalton; two sisters: Maryann Smola and husband, Thomas, of Littleton, CO and Doris Morelli and husband, Richard, of Dickson City; granddaughters, Breanna and Kayla Wood; nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be Saturday from Our Lady of the Snows Parish, 301 S. State Street, Clarks Summit, PA with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30am to be celebrated by Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn, pastor. Interment, Fairlawn Cemetery, Dalton. The family will receive relatives and friends on Friday from 4 to 7pm, with an honor guard provided by members of the Dalton Fire Company. at the Jennings-Calvey Funeral and Cremation Service, Inc., 111 Colburn Avenue, Clarks Summit, PA 18411. Memorial Contributions may be made to Lackawanna County Fire Police Association, 102 Shady Lane Road PO Box 174, Chinchilla, PA 18410.
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