Milan “Mike” Kostrna
Fishkill – Milan (Mike) Kostrna peacefully entered into eternal rest on April 25, 2022, surrounded by his beloved wife, Irene, and beloved children, Michael and Cindy.
Mike was born on September 13, 1929 in Surovce, Czechoslovakia to Frank and Anna (Jakubicekova) Kostrna. After his mother’s death, Mike and his siblings, Cyril and Josephine, were raised by their grandmother, Katrina Kostranova. Mike adored his grandmother. Mike grew up in extreme poverty; his grandmother often begged for food to feed Mike, Cyril and Josephine. As a young man, Mike lived through the Nazi occupation of his homeland, digging graves for German soldiers and watching World War II unfold in his backyard. After the end of World War II, the village of Mike was occupied by the Soviet army. When he was seventeen, Mike and his sister Josephine were able to join their father and stepmother in New York, living in Manhattan’s Upper Eastside where he met a wonderful Hungarian girl named Irene. Timar. Mike worked very hard to better himself and educate himself in his new country, even attending Brooklyn Community College and achieving the American Dream.
In 1951 Mike was drafted into the US Army and proudly served his new country in the Korean conflict. He was a demolitions expert in Company C of the 1343rd Combat Engineer Battalion, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Mike was honorably discharged from active duty in 1953. Upon his release, Mike returned to the Upper Eastside to build his life and pursue his dreams.
On July 2, 1955, Mike married his sweetheart, Irene, at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Manhattan. Mike and Irene have raised two wonderful children, Michael and Cindy, who adore and cherish their parents. Mike made many friends over his long life in all the places he lived, and he never hesitated to lend a hand to help his friends and neighbors.
In 1968 Mike had the opportunity to finally return to Czechoslovakia with his wife and children, returning to his hometown and reuniting with his brother whom he had not seen since 1947. Mike returned to Slovakia several times during of his life to attend family events.
As a veteran, one of the highlights of Mike’s life was Mission 18 of the Hudson Valley Honor Flight in 2017 with his daughter Cindy as guardian. It was truly a moving, uplifting and amazing journey, and Mike was so happy to be recognized for his service. Mike has often said it was one of the greatest moments of his life.
In 2019, Mike’s family was able to throw him an amazing 90th birthday party. Several of his oldest friends joined his family in celebrating this remarkable achievement. It was a blessed and joyful evening.
Mike enjoyed working with his hands and was proud of the house he renovated in Tappan, New York. Mike enjoyed gardening, enjoyed playing football in his youth, enjoyed cooking and baking – he was known for his nut and poppyseed rolls – and liked to tinker and fix anything that needed tinkering. Mike adored his wife, children and grandchildren and did everything he could to provide for his family. He held several jobs in his life, including that of steelworker, printer, and floor manager. Mike was a fiercely proud Slovak, a fiercely proud American, a stalwart Catholic, a proud veteran, and a loving brother, husband, father, and grandfather.
His family is heartbroken by his passing, but we know he continues to watch over us. Our father would do anything for us – no questions asked. He could very well solve any problem, big or small, and never hesitated to reach out and help anyone.
Besides his beloved wife, Irene, Mike is survived by his children, Michael and Cindy, his grandchildren, Michael and Gabriel, numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews in the United States and Slovakia. , as well as many friends and neighbors whom he loved and who loved him back.
Visiting hours are 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 29, 2022 at McHoul’s Funeral Home of Fishkill, Inc., 1089 Main Street, Fishkill, New York. The funeral mass will be celebrated by Fr. Tom Colucci at St. Mary Mother of the Church, 103 Jackson Street, Fishkill, New York. Interment will follow immediately at St. Denis Cemetery, 604 Beekman Road, Hopewell Jct., New York.
Please visit the Milan Memories Book at mchoulfuneralhome.com.
Posted on April 27, 2022
Posted in Poughkeepsie Journal