Jennifer Ann Kostka was a darling daughter, a selfless sister, a loyal friend and lover, and above all else, a mother who moved mountains.
“Ma Ma, Grammy, Auntie, Fife,” Jennifer Ann Kostka, age 70, who loved “to the moon and back and then some,” died peacefully on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., surrounded by family. Her tenderness, compassion, and humility, even in the face of stage IV triple-negative breast cancer, graced anyone and everyone she encountered.
Jennifer was born in Rice Lake on Aug. 20, 1951, to parents, Boniface “Billy” and Alice Jasicki (Lozowski) of Weyerhaeuser. She was the second in a group of four forever sisters. After graduating from Weyerhaeuser High School in 1969, she married her high school sweetheart, Gary Kostka, in June of 1970. They divorced in 1977, but not before they had a son, Zachary. Jennifer dedicated herself to raising Zachary full-time while working full-time. Years later, she became the frequent babysitter of her three nephews and finally her granddaughter, all of whom she affectionately cared for and, in more recent years and days, missed as her own. She was always willing and wanting to be there for family.
Jennifer particularly enjoyed romance, parties and thrift. As such a loving and empathetic person, she could easily live vicariously through love stories and songs. When it came to music, she relished the music of her relatives most, especially that of her daddy and sisters. She always looked forward to seeing friends and relatives at parties, where she could talk, listen, and reminisce for hours on end. She loved the food, cigarettes, and drinks, too! Growing up she was taught to “work and save,” and the sacrifices she made to do so for her family are inspirational. She became a master of saving and repurposing, and her attention to detail was second to none.
Jennifer was preceded in death by her parents, Billy and Alice Jasicki.
She is survived by her son, Zachary, and his wife, Tomomi Fujimaru; her granddaughter and “angel,” Eden Fujimaru Kostka; her sisters, Linda, Bonita “Bonnie,” and Annette “Su-Su” Jasicki; her sister-in-law, Jane Stevenson; her three nephews, Tyler, Luke, and Noah Effertz and their wives, Shannon, Madeline, and Danielle; and her three great-nephews, Elliot, Elijah, and Ezra. She left us to the lyric: “Shower the people you love with love…”. We touched the moon, and then some.
The family expresses their deepest gratitude to Jennifer’s care teams at the Frauenshuh Cancer Center in St. Louis Park and Timber Hills in Inver Grove Heights. A funeral service/birthday party to honor her is being planned for Aug. 20, 2022, at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Weyerhaeuser. Her cremated remains will stay with her son Zachary until then, and he hopes to visit you with them if possible.