Greenfield - Henry A. Kostanski, 86, of 220 Federal Street died Friday 3/7/14 at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke.
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He was born in Turners Falls on August 8, 1927, the son of Walter and Jennie (Samorajski) Kostanski.
He attended Highland School in Millers Falls and Turners Falls High School.
When he was 17 he joined the United States Navy and served aboard the U.S.S. St. Paul CA73 which was a heavy cruiser with Admiral William ""Bull"" Halsey's Third Fleet during World War II and attained the rank of seaman second class. His ship fired the last Naval Gun Salvo against the Japanese Mainland. The U.S.S. St. Paul was the heaviest ""Man of War"" to navigate the Wangpoo River into Shanghai, China.
Henry was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Theatre of War Campaign Ribbon with one battle star, Occupation of Japan Medal, American Theatre Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Following his honorable discharge, he returned to Turners Falls High School and graduated in 1947. He continued his education and was a graduate of the New England Institute of Anatomy, Sanitary Science and Embalming in Boston.
He married the former Irene R. Czuj on July 17, 1948 in Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Turners Falls.
Henry established the Kostanski Funeral Home in Greenfield in 1951 and with his brother Walter, opened the Kostanski Funeral Home in Turners Falls in 1952. He was a registered embalmer and funeral director until his retirement in 1991.
Henry was a member of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association serving on the Board of Directors, a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and a certified National Disaster Coordinator.
Henry was a life member of the Loyal Order of the Moose and a life member of the Bishop Garrigan Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. He was a member of the Turners Falls Athletic Club. He was a former member of the Greenfield Lions Club, the Greenfield Lodge of Elks and the Board of Overseers at the Franklin Medical Center. Henry was a former commander of the Hale Clapp VFW Post in South Deerfield. He was also a member of the former Coutu-Murphy VFW Post in Millers Falls. He was a member of the Polish National Alliance. He was a Greenfield Finance Committee member and a Democratic Town Committee member.
Henry was a communicant of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Turners Falls and a communicant of the former Sacred Heart Church in Greenfield.
In earlier years, he and his wife Irene loved to travel taking many trips throughout the U.S. and spending time at their condo in Vero Beach, FL. They especially enjoyed connecting with their heritage on their trip to Poland in 2001.
Henry played semi-professional football for the Greenfield Lions. He loved playing cards, golfing, hunting, ice fishing and sitting on the porch enjoying his home.
Henry was especially proud of serving his country and proud of all his children's and grandchildren's accomplishments. He especially enjoyed attending all their sporting events.
Besides his beloved wife of 66 years, Irene, Henry leaves his children, Michael H. and his wife Bette Ann of Gill, Karen I. Larabee and her husband Michael of Greenfield, Jay P. and his wife Pam of Vero Beach, FL, William ""Billy"" R. and his wife Mary of Greenfield, five grandchildren, Michael Jon, Kyle , Brent, Matthew and Britney Gioules and her husband George, two great grandchildren, Tristian and Ty, a brother, Walter T. and his wife Virginia of Turners Falls and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday 3/12/14 at 9am from the Kostanski Funeral Home, 220 Federal Street, Greenfield followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10am in Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Turners Falls with the Rev. Charles J. DiMascola, pastor, officiating.
Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery in Greenfield.
Calling hours will be held Tuesday evening from 5-8 pm at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Turners Falls Athletic Club, PO Box 11, Turners Falls, MA 01376, the Greenfield Minor League Baseball PO Box 1127, Greenfield, MA 01302 or to Our Lady of Czestochowa Renovation Fund, 84 K Street, Turners Falls, MA 01376.
Sympathy message available at www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.
Kostanski Funeral Home
220 Federal Street Greenfield, MA 01301
Published in The Recorder on Mar. 10, 2014