Age 74. Passed away January 4, 2021 at the Cleveland VA Center. Dearly beloved son of James and Margaret Koscak (both deceased); loving brother of Kathryn Matt (David) and the following deceased: Nancy Zofka and James Koscak, Jr.; dear uncle and great uncle. Veteran of US Army, Military Police.
Jeffrey appreciated his West 20th St., St. Wendelin’s, & St. Charles’ roots. During these years, he established & maintained several friendships, many which survived 50+ years. Among his friends were Billy, Jake, and Rick, who, along with Jeff, graduated from Benedictine High School. Jeff appreciated the strong academic and Catholic education he received there. A fan of Augie Bossu, Jeff attended countless football games over several decades. So, too, over many years, he was in the stands at his nieces’ & nephew’s sporting events, cheering them on in both victory & defeat.
Although living in different cities, Jeff and his buddies maintained a forever friendship. Reunions in Cleveland centered around dinner at their favorite restaurants, humorous conversation & a drink (okay, more than 1).
Shortly after graduating from high school, Jeffrey enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served as a M.P. in Vietnam. In the service, Jeffrey learned a sense of discipline that he carried over to his civilian life. He adopted a strict schedule, which included making his bed daily; shining his shoes so that he could see his reflection; & ironing his jeans. (Really, who wears Levi’s with a crease?) He took incredible pride in having served his country, which he so deeply loved.
A fitness enthusiast, Jeff was a regular at Life Fitness. He preceded his workouts with a stop at Panera, where a coffee & cinnamon roll replaced the traditional protein shake.
Because of his love for conversation & meeting new people, Jeffrey went on to become a successful furniture salesperson and courier, the latter requiring him to be on the road for several hours. He, thus, began traveling with a mini cooler. A diabetic, he claimed he needed to maintain his blood sugar level. Although he packed healthy snacks, his stash also included: Cheetos, candy bars, & Lorna Dunes, probably not food items on the ADA recommended list.
An avid reader, Jeffrey frequented several local libraries, but was he really there to read the newspaper & check out books or rather to meet various librarians? His love for literature extended to an appreciation of the English language. He respected correct grammar and took pride in writers’ use of literary devices. He loved that his mantra, “Strong, Stubborn Slovak,” was an example of alliteration.
Jeffrey loved to travel both internationally and domestically, his favorite destination being New York City. He & his dad, Jim, began a tradition of including the nephews/grandsons, Mark & Jimmy, on their trips, exposing them to a “big city experience.” As important as seeing the sites was traveling to the Bronx to catch a Yankees’ game and hanging out at their favorite haunts, which included the Carnegie Deli, where they enjoyed its famous corned beef sandwiches.
Jeffrey was truly a Renaissance Man, who enjoyed classical music (he was a Cleveland Orchestra subscriber); Frank Sinatra & showtunes; the theater; films; & sports. He took pride in wearing a well put together outfit, including his signature ball cap or Stetson hat.
Since June of this past year, Jeffrey battled countless physical complications. Despite his many challenges, he remained strong in his determination & resilience & devotion to America. He was a warrior until the end. What else would one expect from this “Strong Stubborn Slovak?’
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, January 11, 2021 at St. Wendelin Catholic Church, 2281 Columbus Road, Cleveland, OH 44113 at 10 a.m. (Mass will be live-streamed on St Wendelin’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/giKEFrh1g78) Private Interment with military honors will take place at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, Rittman, OH.
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