Richard "Coach" R.
VILLAGE OF RAYMOND – Sergeant First Class “Coach” Richard “Rich” Ralph Kosinski, 94, passed away on Sunday, January 2, 2022 at home, and is now celebrating the new year face-to-face with Jesus Christ – his maker, Savior and friend.
Richard was born in Milwaukee on May 29, 1927 as the ninth of nine children to the late Peter and Anna (nee: Drewa) Kosinski.
He attended Rutherford B. Hayes Milwaukee Public Grade School for first grade. Then he attended Rochester, Wisconsin Graded School for grades 2-8. In 1946, he graduated from the Racine County Agricultural School after living at the school dormitory part of tenth grade and all of 11th and 12th grade. During his high school years, Richard also worked at the school farm and excelled in several sports.
From 1946-1950, Richard attended the University of Wisconsin Madison. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and a minor in General Science.
During the Korean conflict, Richard served in the U.S. Army from October 1950 to August 1952. He attended Army leadership training and attained the top physical fitness score in his battalion at Fort Carson, Colorado. As Sergeant First Class, he served in Alaska in the 196th Regimental Combat Team, Able Company. In preparation for a possible Russian invasion, Richard’s Army company did maneuvers in the dark and frigid weather during the Korean War. He had also attended a leadership school in Fort Riley, Kansas. He was very honored to be offered an appointment to West Point during his Army service, but he turned it down to pursue his love of teaching and coaching.
By this time, Richard’s mother owned the Badger Mobile Home Court in Franklin where he worked from 1952-1953 and helped several years thereafter when not teaching or coaching. One of the feats he accomplished was hand digging with a shovel the trenches for the sewer and water for the trailer court. He also poured concrete slabs for each trailer plot.
Algoma High School was where Richard taught General Science and Biology from Fall 1953 to Spring 1955. He also coached football, basketball and baseball there.
In the fall of 1955, Richard worked on his Masters of Science degree in Physical Education at UW Madison which he achieved in January 1956.
Richland Center High School was where Richard next taught physical education for three and one-half years from January 1956 to Spring 1959. While there he also coached football, basketball, baseball and track.
Richard not only shared his teaching and coaching expertise and knowledge with his students, but also to those in the education profession. He was featured in the Audio Visual Aids college textbook of 1957. He wrote sports articles published in Scholastic Coach, Athletic Journal, Coaches’ Quarterly, and Education Journal. He introduced machine gun drills, a unique screen pass, teaching methods, evaluation procedures, and other innovative ideas to his football programs.
From 1959-1960, Richard again worked at the Badger Mobile Home Court and purchased a 27-acre farm in Raymond, Wisconsin, which is in Racine County. This homestead is where he bred and raised purebred Shetland ponies for 26 years. He was a member of the American Shetland Pony Club and the Tri-County Pony Club.
Also for 26 years, Richard was a teacher at Union Grove High School from Fall 1960 to Spring 1986. For eight of those years, he provided 100 sets of knitwear for all of the boys’ sports teams by washing and drying them in the school machines. He did this for no charge and received no reimbursement. He taught physical education and led the Broncos to state championships while coaching football and wrestling. He had three undefeated and several championship teams. The students who attended his class knew what it meant to “Put your toes up to the line, but not on it.”
When he retired from teaching in 1986 and stopped breeding Shetland ponies, Richard started raising purebred Polled Hereford beef cattle and established two more farms for the family. Even in his last year of life, he liked to go to the barns to see the newborn calves and steers growing, and see photos of the cattle.
Richard had other coaching activities he was involved in. He helped coach Raymond Little League and Pony League baseball teams.
He coached football for eight years at Carthage College in the 1970s. Two of his players went on to play for the National Football League (NFL) as linemen.
In the fall of 1984, he coached football at Greendale Martin Luther High School earning a conference championship.
In the fall of 2005, Richard was the Special Teams coach at Pius XI High School with the slogan of “Bring Your Shovel” to encourage the young men to work hard like he had done years ago when he dug the water and sewer trenches at the trailer park.
In 1999, he was a catcher briefly for son Craig as a pitcher on the summer men’s adult Chicago Outlaws baseball team. Richard and Craig formed the oldest pitcher-catcher battery of 98 years.
Even in his elderly years, he taught his two older grandsons physical education skills for their homeschooling class.
Besides education, athletics and farming, Richard was a church worker and member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Union Grove, Wisconsin. After that he served as an usher, elder and trustee at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, Greendale, Wisconsin. Then he was a member at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Racine, Wisconsin having served as a Youth Group Bible study leader, 1995-1996, Cherub Club leader using a cookie monster puppet to help teach Biblical truths from 1996-2000, and vice chairman 1999-2000. He was particularly proud of Christian scrolls he developed, which he shared one-on-one with people and in large group settings. He also wrote and published a “Pony Shoe Wedding Prayer” that he had made into plaques he gave as gifts.
Years earlier in his career, he developed his own letterhead that meant a lot to him. It had a drawing of a football on a tee. The football had a cross on it. The football on a tee was shaped like an ichthus (fish symbol for believers in Jesus). The saying he had written on the letterhead was, “Let us also exercise our spiritual muscle so that we may apply our total strength to our commitment.” Even this past year when he was hospitalized for strokes in June, he mentioned that he is a friend of Jesus.
As a graduate from the Racine County Agricultural School in Rochester, Wisconsin, Richard served on the committee for the All-Class Reunion in 2000. He served on committees for his Aggie Class of 1946 school reunions several times as well.
On December 21, 1963, Richard married Karen V. Gilbertson at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Janesville, Wisconsin. They shared 58 years of life together and were blessed with three wonderful children. Together they attended Raymond School Senior breakfasts. They also met with other senior citizens at Amazing Grey’s luncheons at Raymond Community Church and North Cape Lutheran Church. They were faithful Raymond 4th of July parade and fireworks’ watchers. In 2016, Richard and Karen were chosen by the Raymond Community and Business Association and rode in the parade as the Raymond 4th of July Honorary Marshals.
Richard is survived by his wife Karen; daughter Janice Kosinski of Sturtevant, Wisconsin; Clark (Pam) Kosinski of Raymond, Wisconsin; Craig (Carrie) Kosinski of Yorkville, Wisconsin; grandsons Jonathan and David Kosinski; grandsons JJ and Enoch Kosinski; and granddaughters Cece, Adalynn, Kenna, Clarissa, Karraline, and Estyr. He is also survived by sister-in-law Linda Gilbertson of Janesville, Wisconsin; several cousins, nieces, nephews and friends; and home care caregivers Chelsey and Rebecca.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents and all of his siblings: his brothers and sisters-in-law including Edward (Helen) Kosinski, Louis (Viola) Kosinski, Roman (Carole) Kosinski, and Elmer (Noni) Kosinski; his sisters and brothers-in-law Lucille (Roman) Marshall, Alicia Kosinski, Esther Kosinski, and Evelyn (Robert) Sonnentag. He was also preceded in death by his brother-in-law Loren Gilbertson.
Visitation will be held at Heritage Funeral Home located at 9200 S. 27th Street Oak Creek, Wisconsin on Friday, January 14th from 4-7PM, and at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church 4340 6 Mile Road Racine, Wisconsin on Saturday, January 15th from 9:00AM until the time of service at 11AM. After a luncheon, internment will follow with full military honors at Rochester Cemetery 31440 Washington Avenue/County Highway D, Rochester, Racine County, Wisconsin.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (memo: roof fund) 4340 Six Mile Road, Racine, WI 53402 (262) 639-1277, or a charity of your choice.