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William Bill Kosky

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William Kosky, 90, of Alamogordo, passed away on Feb. 5, 2008. He was born on April 22, 1917, in Grampian, Pa., to James and Anna (Kosienski) Kosky. His parents emigrated from Poland when they were teenagers. They moved to Sandy Ridge, Pa., where Bill was the eldest of six children. He had to learn to speak English in order to attend school. He could understand it, but the teacher kept sending him home because he could only answer in Polish. He was only able to attend school through the eighth grade because of financial difficulties at home. Bill then had to work at many jobs to help support his family.
In 1939, at the age of 21, he enlisted in the Army for two years. With the beginning of World War II in 1941, all discharges were frozen. He was in the 5th Engineer Combat Battalion and attained the rank of master sergeant. He served in many places, including Fort Bliss, Fort Ord, the Philippines, Iceland and Japan. His duties included military police, drill sergeant and building bridges and airfields. He was finally discharged from the Army in 1945 after the end of the war.
He returned home and met Sara Keller, who was a high school classmate of his sister, Marge. They were married on Feb. 16, 1947, in Osceola Mills, Pa. Because of the shortage of jobs after the war, Bill worked as an auto-mechanic and in a brick yard. Their only child, Sally, was born on Dec. 20, 1947.
In 1955, the family moved to State College, Pa. There, Bill worked for HO-PAR, a chemical company. In 1963, he became a laboratory assistant in the chemistry department at Pennsylvania State University where he continued to work until his retirement in 1985.
After Sara's retirement from Penn State, they moved to Alamogordo in September 1993, to be near their daughter and grandchildren. Bill was an usher for Grace United Methodist Church for many years. He also spent many hours creating beautiful plastic canvas items for his family, friends and church bazaars.
His last two years were spent living at the Beehive assisted living home in Alamogordo, where he was attended by very caring people.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Mary Helen McLaughlin, his brothers Joseph, Stanley and Frank, and his wife, Sara (1996).
He is survived by his daughter Sally Altrock and her husband Dick and granddaughter Krystal of Cloudcroft; granddaughter Kristin Gunnels and husband Andrew of Brownfield, Texas; grandson Chris Altrock and wife Kendra of Memphis, Tenn.; and grandson Craig Altrock and wife Leslee of Fort Worth, Texas. His great-grandchildren are Austin, Audrey and Kadin William Gunnels of Brownfield; Jordan and Jacob Altrock of Memphis and Joshua, Matthew, and Andrew Altrock of Fort Worth. Also surviving is his sister Marge Domblisky of Chandler, Ariz.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Jean and Denny Bloom and nephew Russell of Philipsburg, Pa.; brother-in-law and sister-in-law John and Marian Keller of Niagara Falls, N.Y.; sister-in-law May Kosky of Sandy Ridge; sister-in-law Mary Keller of Lockport, N.Y.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place locally at PCS entrusted to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home.
Memorial services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 29, 2008, at Grace United Methodist Church with Rev. Tom Richardson officiating.
Inurnment will follow at Monte Vista Cemetery.
To sign the online register book, please visit
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Feb. 6 to Feb. 24, 2008
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