Mary Kossakowski

Obituary of Mary Kossakowski

On Saturday April 4, 2020, Mary Quinault Kossakowski—loving sister, mother of two and grandmother of 3—passed away at the age of 79.

Mary was an outgoing, warm, and friendly person who will be dearly missed by her family, friends, neighbors, former colleagues and students, and all the other people whose lives she touched on a daily basis.

Mary was born on September 8, 1940 in New York City to first-generation Greek American parents Katina and Roger Quinault. Mary was the 3rd of 5 children: Nicholas, John, Mary, George and Irene. She grew up in Chelsea on the West Side of Manhattan during the 1940s and 1950s, spending summers at the beach in Staten Island with her family. She received a bachelor’s in fine arts from Cooper Union in 1963. From there Mary began a career in art that spanned designing typography and calligraphy at Tiffany’s & Co and Steuben Glass in New York City to teaching art at a private high school in Staten Island. She married Casimer Kossakowski in 1966 and raised two children, daughter Kaitlin and son Theodore “Ted.” Mary was a loving mother-in-law to her children’s spouses Erik Haynes (Kaitlin) and Amanda Kossakowski (Ted); loving grandmother to her 3 grandchildren Olivia, Nicolas and Konrad; and loving aunt to her niece Karen; Karen’s sons Timothy and Christopher; and nephews Mark, Doug and Richard.

She was a selfless person who was a loving caregiver to her brothers John and George throughout their lives, and to Nick during the illness at the end of his life. Mary also had a very special, loving, lifelong relationship with her sister Irene.

Mary was independent, smart, talented and hard working. She had a love of art from a very early age that remained a constant throughout her life. Mary’s paintings and art were featured in many exhibitions as well as the homes of her many friends and family members. She loved to paint murals on the windows of her home to celebrate the seasons and holidays (Halloween was a favorite). She never stopped learning about art and took and taught continuing education classes throughout her life. She was especially fond of the time she spent studying art in Italy. She was very proud of her Greek heritage, cooking Greek dishes and speaking Greek; she also spoke French (and English). She loved to travel and cherished trips with her family and making memories the most. She played the piano, loved her garden, and took no prisoners when playing Scrabble. She was a big fan of the Mets and loved “Thor:” not the comic book character but pitcher Noah Syndergaard. She loved animals and had a special fondness for cats—but wasn’t what some may call “cat lady.”

She was someone you could always count on, a person with a great spirit, and an amazing mother who gave her children a lifetime of unconditional love. She will be remembered for many things, but most importantly for being a truly wonderful caring, compassionate, loving and gentle soul whose positivity, optimism and support were an inspiration to all.

We miss you so much.

A memorial service will be held at a future date. Please check back for updates on a time, date and location.

In lieu of flowers as a proud alumna a donation in memory of Mary (Quinault) Kossakowski to Cooper Union scholarships would have made her very happy. You can make a contribution by visiting cooper.edu/give select “scholarships” then fill out the bottom section of the form. ‘Make this an honor or memorial gift.’ Please indicate that the gift is in memory of Mary (Quinault) Kossakowski A’63.

Alternatively, you can also make a gift by calling (212) 353-4164 or mailing a check to: The Cooper Union Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, 30 Cooper Square, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10003

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