UPDATE: Leo Koscielniak was laid to rest at St. Thomas Cemetery in Elmira. A private graveside service with military honors was held on Saturday, July 3, 2021.
Leon Koscielniak (aka Jaja, The Judge, Judgster, or Leo) polka danced his way into heaven on December 20, 2020, where his forever dance partner Louise (aka Nana, Nun, The Nunster) was eagerly awaiting his arrival with her dancing shoes on. Just 2 days shy of his 92nd birthday, we know his granddaughter Lindsey Koscielniak has a beautifully delicious cake ready to help him celebrate, and Nana with a fresh deck of cards is ready to get a game of rummy going with all their family and friends that have gone before him.
An avid outdoorsman, Jaja loved spending time with his son Matthew, and his grandson Nick on their summer fishing trips to Canada, and was always sure to get his annual naps in while in his hunting blind every November. If you did catch Jaja indoors, it’s likely he had his right hand busy pulling the arm of the slot machine, and his left hand holding a cold Mt. Dew. Whether outdoors or indoors, one thing was for sure – he always had a smile on his face and made sure everyone around him did too.
You would be hard-pressed to find a local Gaylord street that didn’t have a house on it that was built by Leo. One of his favorite things to do was to be building something or other in his garage workshop; everything from birdhouses, to cabinets for friends, and items to contribute to the Gaylord St. Mary’s church.
Jaja has joined forces with Nana in watching over his 4 children, Janet Bresbois, Geriann Koscielniak, Mary (Jim) Payne, Matthew (Beth) Koscielniak; as well his 6 grandchildren, Nick Koscielniak, Jaime (JJ) Buckingham, Terra Payne, Travis Payne, Robbie (Dr. Caitlin) Payne, Alex Payne; 3 great-grandchildren, Liam and Elliot Buckingham and Clayton Payne; and his favorite dog to dog-sit, Roxie.
Leo will once again be with his dear parents, Anthony and Mary; his granddaughter Lindsey Koscielniak; and his sister Clara Dobrzelewski.
His spirit will be shining bright with his favorite saying in our hearts, “every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day, so be happy and be thankful!”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a memorial mass and committal service at St. Thomas Cemetery in Elmira, MI, will be held in the spring of 2021.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity or to Breast Cancer Research.
Arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home & Cremation Service, PO Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.