Bernadette H. Kosco, 101, of Harrisburg, died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013 at Arden Courts of Susquehanna – welcomed into the arms of our Creator whom she served her entire life.
She was born May 4, 1912 in New York City, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. William E. Howley, the seventh of eight children.
She was a 1933 graduate of Marymount College in Tarrytown, N.Y. She majored in French and during her junior year attended the University of Paris—the Sorbonne. Upon completing her bachelor’s degree she was employed as a social worker in New York City.
In 1939 she married Lieutenant George F. Kosco, a native of St. Marys and a 1930 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. During WW II she lived in Norfolk, Va. and New Rochelle, N.Y. looking after her growing family while her husband was at sea. After the war she traveled with her husband and family on assignments to Lakehurst, N.J.; Kodiak, Alaska; Seattle, Wash.; Alameda, Calif.; Anchorage, Alaska; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and Norfolk, Va. Upon her husband’s retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1960 she, her husband, and daughter Ann spent a year abroad studying French in Aix-en-Provence, France. She had been a resident of Harrisburg since 1962.
She was committed to her church and helping others. She was the President of the Saint Catherine Laboure Council of Catholic Women and the Lenker Manor Civic Association in the late 1970s. She was a Water Safety Instructor for the American Red Cross for over 20 years. She worked at the polls, delivered Meals on Wheels, and was a member of the Irish Heritage Society and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). She was dedicated to the Pro-Life movement and actively took part in its initiatives.
She had a love of travel and adventure. She hunted big game and fished in Alaska. After one very successful season of hunting caribou and fishing, her children asked her to find a new hobby in order to allow them to become reacquainted with beef. The family cat even balked by not eating her share of the salmon. As a member of Friendship Force she traveled extensively in South America, the British Isles, Eastern Europe, India, and SW Asia. She also enjoyed visiting her daughter Ann in the Black Forest and lengthy visits with her son Bill in the Sultanate of Oman.
Those who knew her also knew of her love of competitive bridge. She would play anywhere and anytime. On occasion she would play through the night and come home well after sunrise. More than once family members would not find her at home, but soon realized she was involved in another marathon game. She played bridge at Arden Courts until very recently—stopping only when her bridge mates were no longer able to travel.
She is survived by her son, Colonel William G. Kosco, USA Retired, and his wife Betty of Carlisle; two daughters, Mary Kathryn Farrell of Elverson and Ann Schaffner and her husband Albert of Freiburg, Germany; six grandchildren, Hollis Kosco, Jordan Kosco Heckman, Leigh Kosco Auletta, William Farrell, Molly Farrell Richmond, and Kate Farrell; and six great-grandchildren, Jacob, Isla, and Wesley Heckman, Powers and Rixey Auletta, and Max Richmond.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, George.
A memorial service for Bernadette H. Kosco will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 at Saint Catherine Laboure Church, Harrisburg, located at 4000 Derry St Harrisburg, Pa. 17111.
Visitation will begin at 10 a.m.
At a later date she will be interred next to her husband in Arlington National Cemetery.