2017-06-29 / Obituaries

Darrell Kozma

Darrelll Kozma Darrelll Kozma Darrell Brannan Kozma, 69, of Hessel, was dedicated to helping veterans in the Upper Peninsula. Mr. Kozma passed away peacefully Friday, June 23, 2017.

He was born November 2, 1947, to Nick and Blanche (nee Brannan) Kozma in Detroit.

Mr. Kozma attended Redford High School. He was graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with honors. He later became an ordained minister.

He served in the United States Navy, from 1968 to 1971, when he was medically retired. During his enlistment, he was in the Navy Choir. He also held the dead lift record of 564 pounds at Beeville Air Station in Beeville, Texas. His record was still standing when the base closed in 1993. He was a Vietnam and AMVETS service officer for 32 years. He was honored to expand AMVETS services. He served as state director for the AMVETS for the last 10 years of his career.

Mr. Kozma received numerous awards, including Chapel of Four Chaplains, Legion of Honor Membership in 1995; Wolverine Award, Citizen of the Year in 2001; AMVETS Department of Michigan, Certificate of Appreciation for 30 years of loyalty and service while assistant service director in 2006, and AMVETS Life Member of Michigan, AMVETS Post 9, joined September 1, 1977.

An avid sportsman, he always prided himself in taking more than 100 deer, each with a single shot. He also hunted rattlesnake and armadillo in Texas. A talented bow hunter, Mr. Kozma taught archery for 4-H for seven years. He enjoyed fishing in the Les Cheneaux Islands with his family, especially his grandson Lane.

Mr. Kozma and his family built their cordwood home on Nunns Creek Road, which was always his dream. It was a labor of love that took five years.

At this time, his family members said, it is probably safe to disclose that years ago, he was responsible for putting laundry detergent in the San Diego water fountain, he said, causing a suds wall that stopped traffic. This was his idea of a “clean” joke. His sense of humor will be missed.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Colleen; four sons and their families, Keith and Sarah, Steve, Mark, and Eric and Carola; three grandchildren, Lane, Charlotte, and Dylan, and an adopted family member, Donna, all of the Les Cheneaux area.

A private family memorial gathering will be held this summer.

Memorial contributions may be directed to VitalCare Hospice of Little Traverse Bay, 1 Hiland Drive, Petoskey, MI 49770.

R. Galer Funeral Home in Pickford is assisting the family with arrangements.

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