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Martha Kurilla Tomesko Baniecki
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Birth: unknown
Muskingum County
Ohio, USA
Death: Oct. 5, 2013
Ohio, USA

Born in Zanesville Ohio, her family moved to Youngstown, where she met the handsome Joseph Koza. They both were in high school and were gymnasts in their respective Slovak clubs. Joe knew a good thing when he saw Martha perform at a competition and determined that this beautiful, young lady would share his life. As they lived on opposite sides of the city, Joe had to hop on the back of a bus, clinging to the bumper to ride across town to court her. The young men of Martha's neighborhood weren't happy to see him, so he had to tough his way through some challenging situations to win her hand.

Martha and Joe married on May 20, 1936, became the parents of five children and had a happy life together. They eventually moved to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where Martha beame an active member of St. Joseph Parish. She was president of the Altar and Rosary Society, sang in the choir and played the pipe organ for services. She believed interfaith cooperation to be an important mission and represented the parish in numerous interfaith efforts. She was named Woman of the Year 2005-2006 by the National Council of Catholic Women.

Among her many interests and works, she served as president of the Lone Star Fraternity Mother's Club at the University of Akron; volunteered at Fallsview Psychiatric Hospital for ten years; taught modeling and charm at the Akron YWCA; operated the elevator at O'Neil's Department store, creating a lovely environment for customers and employees; played the piano with gusto (a specialty was the piece, "Tico Tico"); and wrote a spirited musical for her daughter's Girl Scout troop.

She maintained her robust, good health and petite frame by exercising with TV programs by Jack La Lanne and Paige Palmer and walking in the evening. She was an excellent cook, preparing high-quality food in healthful ways before it was the popular thing to do. Martha advised eating and drinking everything in moderation, but she did tend to overdose on black licorice and her home made chocolate cake. She made the best doughnuts and Ranger cookies around.

Several years after Joes's death, Martha met Edmond Baniecki at a dance. She always liked his cute dimples and the way her hand felt in his. He eventually convinced her that they should be married, which they were on November 16, 1983. They had an active life together, having cruised to Alaska, traveled in the United States and taken a trip to Poland and Slovakia to visit the lands of their heritage and meet relatives. She loved playing cards with Ed and family and enjoyed beating their favorite opponents, Joe and Joanne, in hard-fought games fo Rummy. She and Ed had a good and happy 30 years together.

Martha was preceded in death by her parents, John and Julia (Kurilla) Tomesko; brothers, Charles and John; her husband Joseph; grandson, (Joseph) Joey Koza; and Sharon and Mary Koza. She is survived by her husband Edmond; and her five children, Joseph Koza (Joanne), Julia Welfley (Kon), Martha Smith (Clyde), John Koza (Marty), and Charles Koza (Karen); 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

The family expresses heartfelt appreciation to the team of caregivers from Crossroads Hospice, especially Sara, Gabby, and Carlie, who lovingly cared for her and filled her last months with cheer, comfort and support, and to Lori and Brian at Cardinal Village.

I will add more later.
Oakwood Cemetery
Cuyahoga Falls
Summit County
Ohio, USA
Plot: Cemetery office has no record of this person
Created by: M Curtis
Record added: Oct 11, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 118529042
Martha Kurilla <i>Tomesko</i> Baniecki
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Chet Walker
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