Thursday, October 4, 2012

Michael F. Kosteva, BHS Teacher

Michael F. Kosteva, BHS Teacher

MICHAEL F. KOSTEVA Age 87, of Ventura, was taken home to be with his Lord Sunday, January 23, 2005. Mike was born September 29, 1917 in Ashley, Pennsylvania, to Michael Kosteva and Antonina Kubicki of Ashley, Pennsylvania (and Poland).

Mike had seven brothers and sisters whom were all reared in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Ashley High in 1936 and from LaSalle College in 1940, cum laude, where he was given the student athlete award. Mike played football (in a leather helmet) on a scholarship for 4 years at LaSalle.

In 1941, he was already teaching school and coaching football when drafted into the Army. During WWII he served in the 29th Infantry Division as 2nd Lt. under Gen. Mark Clark in the 1942 invasion of North Africa and 1943 invasion of Sicily. Later in Milan, Italy he was assigned to Special Services (Soldier Recreation and Rehab .), in which he helped get entertainment for the troops. In 1944, Mike was in Milan when Mussolini and his friends were assassinated and he took a picture of the gruesome scene for Gen. Clark.

After the war, Mike moved to Burbank where he continued his education at USC, obtaining his Masters Degree in 1960, in U.S. History. He taught at Jordan Junior High in Burbank then U.S. History at Burbank High where he was one of the most popular teachers during the 1960's and 1970's. Mr. Kosteva had many student s tell him they had a love for our country and a desire to teach because of him. He continued on as the Work Experience Director at Burbank High, where he helped kids develop a work ethic, until his retirement in 1977.

Then he took up tennis and made keeping "in shape" his career!! While in Burbank, Mr. Kosteva served in many volunteer capacities. He was very active at First Presbyterian Church, serving as an elder for many terms. His love for the Lord was widely known (because he told everyone) and the effect this had on his life was obvious in all that he did.

Mike launched many youth committees and commissions, organized a drug program for problem teens, led fund raisers for many of these groups, was a Distinguished Teacher of LA County in 1972, was awarded the Service to Mankind Award from the Sertoma Club of Burbank in 1973, and in 1975 was awarded "Citizen of the Year" by the Burbank Board of Realtors.

Those who knew him well remember him as the well organized one, always on time, taking notes and with the most well-groomed house with every leaf in place. When new to Burbank, Mike met a stunning red head named Mary Jayne (Moffitt) Cooke (1925-1998), a widow, whom he married in 1954, and subsequently adopted her children, Nancy and George. In 1955 Mike and Mary Jayne had a baby girl, Kathleen.

Mr. Kosteva is survived by his daughter, Nancy Trombley-Swendsen of Burbank; son, George Kosteva of Ventura; daughter, Kathleen Meyer of Ventura; grandchildren, Marianne Trombley of Hawaii, Jordan Kosteva, Derek Allen Meyer, Michael Carlson Meyer, and Alyson Jean Meyer, all of Ventura; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins from Pennsylvania and Michigan.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 28, 2005, at Community Presbyterian Church in Ventura, conducted by the Rev. Paul Dugan. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Community Presbyterian Church, High School Ministries, 1555 Poli St., Ventura, CA 93001.

Published in Los Angeles Daily News on January 26, 2005

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