Michael Alexander Kostek died of complications from pneumonia on Thursday, August 6, surrounded by his family. Mike had a peaceful end to a rich and interesting life.
Left to remember him with much love are his wife of 67 years, Gwen–semicolon– his sons Rod (Evelyn) and Keith (Jan)–semicolon– his daughters Laurie (Ron) Eibensteiner and Lisa (David) Alton–semicolon– ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Mike is also survived by his sisters Anne (Anton predeceased) Shchurek and Olga (Bill) Zeniuk, and many other family members. All who knew him have remarkable memories of the force Mike was.
Born in Brodie, Poland in 1926, Mike immigrated to Canada with his parents Alex and Martha, settling in Two Hills in 1928. He left to attend the University of Alberta, and spent most of his life with his wife and children in Edmonton, though he was also an intrepid world traveller.
Mike enjoyed a long and varied career as an educator, writer and historian. In addition to his years of service to Edmonton Public Schools, he had teaching adventures in Quebec, Malawi and the Netherlands. One of his proudest achievements was rescuing Edmonton’s first schoolhouse and championing its restoration into a museum – a place where thousands of students have experienced and learned about the history of Edmonton’s public schools.
If – and Mike believed that it was so – a part of everyone who has touched our lives resides in us, Mike will not soon be forgotten.
A gathering to celebrate Mike’s life will be held at 2pm on Wednesday, August 12 at Connelly-McKinley Funeral Home (10011 114th street). All are welcome and are encouraged to bring stories about Mike to share. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mike’s memory can be made to the Edmonton Public Schools – Shake it Up! fundraising campaign for the ongoing restoration and maintenance of Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum. (10425 99 Ave, Edmonton, AB T5K 0E5)