Russell P. Kostrzak, age 91, of Tigerton passed away on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at his home.
Russell Paul Kostrzak was born on May 30, 1924 in the Town of Little Wolf, Waupaca County, to Louis and Polly (Clapps) Kostrzak. He graduated from Little Wolf High School in 1942 and then attended Marquette University in Milwaukee for one year. After high school up until 1956 Russ worked on the family farm in the Town of Little Wolf. He then went on to UW Stevens Point receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Science in 1959. He taught secondary school in Seymour from 1959 to 1967. Russ was united in marriage to Theodora “Teddy” Barber on June 3, 1961 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Tigerton, and the couple settled in Tigerton. In 1962 he completed his Master’s Degree in Conservation Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In July of 1967 Russ joined the staff at Tigerton Lumber Company as a Land Manager and Forester, retiring in 1987. His wife, Teddy, preceded him in death on February 27, 2010. He was an active and faithful member for many years at St. Anthony’s parish where he sang in the choir, volunteered on numerous boards and committees, served as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister, and taught Religious Education classes. Russ was a member of the Knights of Columbus – St. Isidore Council #5008, Tigerton, and served in several positions including Grand Knight. He continued to up the ladder in K of C, serving as District Deputy for district three; and became a 4th Degree member of the Msgr. Conrad Saile Assembly #1214 of Antigo. Russ also volunteered in the Tigerton area with almost every project and activity happening. Most importantly, he served for six years at as a Village Trustee, was a Charter Member of the Historical Society, a board member and past president of the Tigerton Clinic, worked with Tigerton Main Street on various tasks, served on the board of the Tigerton Housing Development Corporation, board member of the Tigerton ATV Park, and longtime member of the Tigerton Lions Club. Russ volunteered with the Wisconsin Council for Local History for six years representing the Northwoods Region. Furthermore, he was a board member and past president of “From the Pineries to the Present” Heritage Tourism Council for Shawano and Menominee Counties; and was instrumental in the planning and formation of Maple Hills Golf Course, Wittenberg. He was a devoted husband, taking care of his wife for so many years; and always loved local history, spending time outdoors, and was passionate about writing.
Survivors include two sisters-in-law, Nancy Kostrzak of Shawano and Donna Barber of Brownsville. There are five nieces and nephews: Rebecca (Gus) May of Shawano, Greg (Colleen) Barber of Fond du Lac, Joel (Pawn) Barber of Marenisco, MI; Faye (Kevin) Barber-Schmuhl of Alto, and Gail Barber of Fond du Lac. He is further survived by other relatives, some great friends, and several compassionate caregivers. Russ is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Teddy; two brothers, Ralph and John Kostrzak; a sister-in-law, Agatha Barber, and a brother-in-law, George Barber.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, January 23rd at 11:00 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Tigerton. Fr. Jose Castaneda will officiate and entombment will be at Union Cemetery, Tigerton. Friends may call on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until time of mass at the church. The Beil-Didier Funeral Home, Tigerton, is assisting the family. Online condolences may be sent via www.beil-didier.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to one of these local Tigerton charities: the Main Street Program, Historical Society, or to St. Anthony’s.