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In death, husband's full impact revealed
Widow of Michael Kosior has been amazed by the number of people her husband impacted during his 38 years on earth.

 Susan Kosior isn't sure what she and daughter Leah will do now that her husband has died. He didn't have life insurance, but they will get some death benefits from his job.
REZA MARVASHTI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 8/30/2012

By CATHY DYSON

Susan Kosior admits she has been in a fog since July 12, when her husband died in front of her as he ate dinner with his family.

But one message has come through loud and clear to the Stafford County woman in the midst of her grief: Her husband, Michael Antoni Kosior, touched a lot of people during his 38 years on earth.

"I don't know three-fourths of the people I've gotten condolences from," Susan Kosior said about the cards and letters that have come from around the globe. "It's been extraordinary, the sheer number of people who have responded."

Mike, as he was known to most people, was born blind and hearing-impaired, but refused to let disabilities get in the way.

He was the first blind student to graduate from his high school in Rhode Island, and he developed a niche in computer sciences that helped him pay for college.

Mike went to work for the federal government and made his way up the scale. He was a GS-14, and his goal was to reach the top, GS-15.

His parents, Henry and Sheila Kosior of Rhode Island, taught him to never use his disabilities as an excuse. They held a memorial service earlier this month--one of three scheduled for Mike in New England--and printed remembrance cards with four simple paragraphs on the back:

THE PEOPLE HE IMPACTED

Mike left his home in southern Stafford's Ferry Farms at 5:30 in the morning and rode the Virginia Railway Express to Washington. He got rides with various neighbors to the station, but otherwise needed little help.

He spent 13 hours a day away from home, and said in a 2009 story in The Free Lance-Star that he was glad he made enough money that "the cookies," his wife and 3-year-old daughter, Leah Katherine, could be home together.

Mike and Susan adopted Leah as a newborn when they weren't able to have children.

In the weeks since his death, Susan has heard from a lot of people who considered Mike a part of their lives, even if they didn't speak with him regularly--or ever.

"The response from VRE people has touched me the most," Susan said. "There really was another family for him, people who looked out for him and loved him."


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