In this series, we celebrate living life to its fullest post-retirement. Whether it’s adopting new hobbies or continuing one’s education, OC Catholic aims to highlight those within our Diocese of Orange who see retirement as the next exciting chapter in life.
The concept of Living Life to Its Fullest, was adopted by St. Cecilia parishioner, Maureen Kosinski at a very early age. Now 83 years later, not much has changed. It could be said that Kosinski is even doing more as compared to her earlier years. She continuously strives to fill-up every hour with her profession, favorite activities and giving of herself to various ministries.
Kosinski grew up in West Los Angeles, California and attended St. Joan of Arc parish and for a majority of her grammar school years, before heading to Notre Dame Girls Academy. Just prior to starting at Notre Dame, one significant event occurred, that in many ways shaped Kosinski’s life. At age 14, along with younger sister Kay, the two started to save all their babysitting money to travel to Hawaii, after Kay’s high school graduation. Through perseverance budgeting for the trip, a memorable six-week
Hawaiian vacation became a reality. This event was significant, because it cemented in Kosinski, an ironclad work ethic, that still exists today. Also, it started a lifelong quest to travel and see as many countries as possible.
Along with the love of travel, came a love for sports including softball, tennis and skiing. Skiing and travel allowed Kosinski and younger sister Kay to visit various Central and South American countries in June of 1960. While in Chile, Kosinski “caught the eye” of the US Pan American Games coaches and due to a shortage of female skiers, was added to the team. In the true “can do” Kosinski attitude, she won the gold medal in the Downhill and Giant Slalom events. She continued to travel throughout the US in addition to 21 countries in Europe and Asia and made memorable trips to the Holy Land and Africa, with her children.
Her love of sports turned into lifelong pursuits as Kosinski continues to play tennis two times per week and skied until 2017. It was this serious “love affair” with skiing, that best illustrates Kosinski’s athletic drive and accomplishments that was fueled by her strong work ethic.
MAUREEN KOSINSKI. COURTESY PHOTO
Kosinski married in 1960 and settled into her home in Tustin in 1968. It was this move to Tustin that started 54 years of involvement at St. Cecilia Parish. Kosinski jumped right into action at St. Cecilia and joined various groups serving the parish. Over her 54 years at St. Cecilia, she has been involved in Pastoral Council (two different stints) and Serra Club where she still heads-up the yearly golf tournament supporting the Orange County religious community. Additionally, Kosinski is an Extraordinary Minister
of Holy Communion and has been involved with bingo, Lenten Soup Supper and is always the first to volunteer for special events at the parish. Last but not least, Kosinski is a 28-year member of a Monday morning prayer group.
As impressive as these involvements are, there was a series of defining moments that furthered Kosinski’s life. While putting five children through St. Cecilia and later Mater Dei, Kosinski became a single mother. Kosinski leaned on her skill as a seamstress and a hobby became a livelihood. Working with both schools to defray tuition costs, while
doing service hours for all five children, was a big task. In 1980, Kosinski received her real estate license and started working for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and later North Hills Reality. Now 42 years later, Kosinski continues to successfully work in the real estate industry. She has carved out a strong reputation among her North Hills colleagues and her clients for her service and dedication.
During this time of financial challenges, Kosinski’s son Kevin was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma while a senior at Mater Dei. Kosinski faced this additional challenge that required her to fall back on that strong faith built by her family, her years at Notre Dame Academy and at St. Cecilia.
In any life there are numerous challenges. Maureen Kosinski faced all those challenges with faith, strength and resolve. She overcame those many challenges and continues to Live Life to Its Fullest, making the most of everyday, with activities, selling real estate and serving her church and the Lord. At 83 years old and still thriving, congratulations to Maureen Kosinski.