On Tuesday , March 26th, 2019, we received word that our friend and co-worker, Jim Kosciolek, passed away. Just a little over a month ago, Jim had retired and in his own words “turned in his suitcase for a tennis racquet”. I had the pleasure of talking with Jim shortly after his retirement was official and he noted that it took him all of 15 minutes on the morning after his last day of work to become well accustomed to retirement.
Having recently moved to his dream location of Big Canoe in the North Georgia Mountains, Jim never ceased to talk about how much he enjoyed his new home and location. Having known Jim for a few years and worked very close to him for the last couple of years, one could tell that he was genuinely a very happy man.
We were still going to work with Jim on a limited basis as we had put a consulting agreement in place so that we could continue to benefit from his scope of experience and skills. Jim expressed that he wanted to still be involved to see our company grow and to stay in touch with the people he had mentored and gotten to know so well over the last couple of years.
Needless to say, we will miss Jim… His warm smile, comforting demeanor and broad course of experience made him a perfect fit for us while he was here and the knowledge we learned from his teaching is invaluable to our organization. But much more than that, we will miss his friendship. We will miss his expertise in wine selection, the way he glowed when he talked about his wife, Debbie and children, Joey and Katie and over the last months the pride that he was going to be a grandpa with a granddaughter on the way. We will miss his passion for his Buffalo Bills and his repulse toward the New England Patriots, and his insistence that there was no place on the face of the Earth that made better chicken wings than Buffalo, NY.
Jim was just entering the next stage of his life, leaving after just over a month after retiring. He deserved more, his family deserved more and the people he befriended over the years deserved more of the man who has touched so many people in such positive ways.
Life is fragile; in times like this we are reminded of this very harsh and resounding reality. There is no way to understand why, or to come up with a way that this makes any sense at all. What we can do, is to remember Jim Kosciolek and carry on as he would have told us to in his confident and warm ways.
Jim, we can never thank you enough for the impact you have made on so many people, and we will never forget you. We will do our best to pick out the best wine, although we know you would have picked a better one. We will raise our glasses and toast a farewell to you my friend and to the beginning of the next chapter in your endeavors; this time in the infinite presence of our Lord.