"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
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HANCOCK - Michael J. Kolesnik, devoted Husband, Father, Community member and Friend passed away peacefully January 4th, 2013, with his loving wife Nancy holding his hand.
He was born in Lowell, MA, March 2, 1947, the son of the late Michael J. and Florence (Vona) Kolesnik, Sr.
Michael travelled this world while in the Peace Corps, and shared his fundamental compassion for all human beings. Those travels shaped Michael and his belief in humanity. He brought those principles with him in his future professional travels, affecting the lives of many as he taught, coached, mentored and empowered to become all that each of us could be. He was an individual that knew the value of sincerity and lived his life with unconditional kindness.
Many will remember Michael as their college advisor or statistics instructor from the Community College of Vermont, where he dedicated his life to that mission for over two decades. As quoted in the college email, "Michael began his journey with CCV as a coordinator and instructor back in 1988...he probably shaped the Rutland CCV more than any one individual in the entire college, helping to create a dynamic learning center that now serves over 1,000 students annually. Michael's gentle spirit and calm ways helped guide many learners on the path, and his dedication ran deep." In addition Michael taught at Otter Valley High School, Johnson State College, St. Michael's College, and overseas in the Mediterranean and Germany.
Michael and his Nancy became "parents" to many - their family was constructed on these values and beliefs. Michael was the father of wisdom and patience - he extended trust and acceptance to the lives he touched and gave a "family" to those in need.
Surviving family members include his wife Nancy (Demers) Kolesnik of Hancock; one son, Jason Kolesnik and his wife Elizabeth Dyer and their children, Locke Harper, Wren Harper, Scout Harper and Flynn Harper of Burlington; a stepson, Ryan Weber and his son Jacob Weber of Rochester; a stepson Eric Reynolds and his wife Karin and their children, Tyler, Evan and Ian of Clarendon; a brother, John Kolesnik of Hancock; and extended family, Tammy and Ed Davis of Castleton and Mutlay Sayon of Burlington.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2013, at 3270 Rte. 125, Hancock, VT, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. He wanted friends and family to stop by to share memories and refreshments.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either The Michael Kolesnik Scholarship at the Office of Development, Community College of Vermont, 1 Abenaki Way, Winooski, VT 05404; or to the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire, PO Box 976, White River Junction, VT 05001-0976.
Online condolences can be sent at www.sandersonfueralservice.com.
Published in Rutland Herald on Jan. 8, 2013