Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rest From His Labors

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
~ Revelation 14:13

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post.  But it is with celebration that I think back on the life I lived with Big Jim (Papa Jimmy) alive.  It was such a blessing to have a second father figure, one that was there to love and support me.  He taught me so many things about life and there is rarely a day that goes by when something in the world around me doesn't trigger a memory of my life with Big Jim.

He took such delight in Katie and I when we showed interest in something technical and he was always so proud at our sports accomplishments.  He was never more than 10 feet away in high school to scare away the boys and he never stopped giving any of my potential suitors an interrogation and a finger thump to the chest.  He taught me to love eating at restaurants and finding joy in seeking out a new destination restaurant.  I remember on one particular vacation Up North, his hearty laugh and smile, when I ate my weight in pizza at the Early Bird restaurant.  Jim loved local community activities and he was excited to bring "us" kids to a 4th of July parade, a Polish Festival, Chicken Dinner or Street Fair. There was one particular trip to Grand Marias when we ventured out in the boat to watch the fireworks and Katie, Michael and I ended up swimming the boat back to shore.  With a smile he brushed off our complaints and joked with us the entire time.

Vacation to Rice Lake in Canada
Most people remember him as a man of few words, but I had the special opportunity to know that he did enjoy a good conversation and listening to a good story.  On one trip to the UP to pick Katie up from Michigan Tech., just Jim and I were in the truck for all 10 hours and there was hardly a minute of silence, he listened to all the stories from my year at college and he shared about building his family home, his college days at Eastern, and facts about all sorts of things.

Although I never officially received a tangible gift from Big Jim, the greatest gift he gave me, was a sense of empowerment.  Taking "Shop Class" as a middle school student and learning how to use the band saw, with or without guards, the lathe and other various hand tools, taught me as a girl I could accomplish anything, even if it wasn't a traditionally "girl thing to do."    That lesson stuck with me as I made my way through college, through my career and through the flipping of three houses.  Just recently over dinner we were discussing my latest project and he reminded me to wear my safety glasses and to never forget the "3 finger Joe" video. 

As time passed and Katie and I moved to different parts of Michigan, Big Jim always kept track of my life and was more than happy to meet for dinner.  Papa Jimmy loved to keep me informed about the adorable things Blake and Drew were up to and he beamed with love as he talked about the boys.  He did have a good chuckle the first time he met Lillian Grace, in which, as he held her, she squiggled and wiggled and talked up a storm.  He pointed out he knew exactly where she got her feisty spirit.

Although, you are no longer with us here on earth, please continue to chuckle, smile and beam as you watch over us and our Lilly Bug.

James Russell Horosko, age 67 of Concord went to be with our Lord March 15, 2013, surrounded by his loving family after a courageous battle with diabetes. He was born March 26, 1945 in Albion, Michigan to Daniel and Helen (Kellogg) Horosko.

Jim was an Army National Guard Veteran and member of the Concord- Pulaski American Legion Post #81. He was a teacher in Napoleon and Concord School Districts, owner of Total  Engineering and Total Farms. Through the help of a very special friend, William Weston, Jim was able to fulfill his dream of farming until his last day. He will be remembered as a caring and compassionate man who put his family first and loved being "Papa John Deere" to his wonderful grandsons and was looking forward to the birth of another grandchild in June. He enjoyed helping young people find success in their lives and was always willing to lend a helping hand.

Jim was a devoted husband, father and grandfather who took great pride in his family and farming community. He will be sadly missed by his devoted family and many life long friends; Loving wife of 33 years Margaret (Konopnick) Horosko, Son- Michael (Elisa) Horosko, Daughter- Katie (Luke) Tomasoski, Grandchildren- Blake and Andrew Tomasoski, Sister- Linda (Joe) Pavka, Brothers- Dan (Rhoda) Horosko, Jack (Betty) Horosko, Brothers-in-law-Michael (Nancy) Konopnick, Jerry Scopel, Al Beglin, Sisters-in-law-Mary (Patrick) Teague, Evie Horosko, Many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Kathleen Beglin, brother Douglas Horosko, sister-in-law Rosemary Scopel.

Visitation for family and friends will be Monday, March 18, 2013 from 2:00 – 4:00 P.M. and 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. with the Rosary at 7:00 P.M. at the St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church,  211 Harmon Ave., Concord, Michigan 49237. Visitation will also start Tuesday, March 19th at 10:00 A.M. at the church. 
 Funeral Service will be held Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. at the church with Celebrants Fathers Denis Spitzley and Lew Eberhart officiating.

In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Concord Educational Foundation, 405 S. Main
Street, Concord, Michigan 49237