Peter G. Kost, 71, of Centerville, formerly of Meadville, died peacefully at his home on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, with his family at his side.
Pete was born in Meadville to Calvin and Catharine Stolz Kost, and graduated from Meadville High School second in his class. He earned bachelor and master of science degrees in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a masters in business administration degree from Kent State University. Pete enjoyed many successes in his first career as an executive with the Timken Co. of Canton, Ohio, where he married Linda Hecker Byers and raised three children.
In 1992, Pete moved back to his beloved Crawford County, where he opened Kost Computer, a full-service computing and office needs business on Park Avenue. Kost Computer grew to a three-store northwest Pennsylvania family business, which he ran for nearly 20 years with his current wife, Judy Kost.
Pete will be remembered by many for his tireless dedication to community service, which earned him the rank of Eagle Scout while in high school. His service contributions were wide and varied throughout his life, and included leadership positions in the Boy Scouts of America, the Jaycees, the Kent State Alumni Association, and many school, civic and business organizations. Since returning to the Meadville area, Pete’s service work had been focused around forestry and sustainability. Pete served as secretary for the Northwest Pennsylvania Woodland Association for 10 years and was named Forester of the Year in 2002 by the Crawford Conservation District for his outstanding forest stewardship.
In addition to community service and forestry, Pete’s interests included fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, gardening, history and writing. As an outdoor enthusiast and champion of Crawford County’s rich history and environment, he wrote many feature articles for The Meadville Tribune on such topics as the Rhododendron and Amelanchier blossoms, George Washington’s trek through the area, and racing legend Ray Harroun.
As remarkable as Pete’s love affair with Crawford County is, it pales in comparison to his love affair with Judy, his wife of 16 years, which he considered to be his greatest adventure. An always positive and enthusiastic guy, Pete was a husband, father, grandfather, son and brother who loved and cared for his family more deeply than words can express.
In addition to his wife, Judy, of Centerville, Pete leaves behind his mother, Catharine, of Meadville; three children and three stepchildren, Mike Kost of Los Angeles, Calif., Karen Kost Boehmer and her husband, Jim, of Seattle, Wash., Susan Kost Swirsky and her husband, Marc, of Los Angeles, Chris Villani and his wife, Sara, of Meadville, Lisa Hawkins and her husband, Dustin, of Crofton, Md., and Justin Villani and his wife, Leslie, of Sonora, Calif.; two brothers, Frank Kost and his wife, Anne, of Schenectady, N.Y., and Eric Kost and his wife, Jeri, of Perrysburg, Ohio; 10 grandchildren, Annie and Caroline Kost, Nathan and Sky Boehmer, Izzy Swirsky, Chris Jr. and Ayda Villani, Aydan and Reilly Hawkins, and Rocco Villani; many nieces and nephews; and his much loved dog, Sassy.
He was preceded in death by his father, Calvin Kost of Meadville; and his aunt, Betty Stolz Balizet.
He was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Calling hour will be Feb. 16 from 10 to 11 a.m. at McCracken Chapel, Cribbs Home, Wesbury United Methodist Community, 31 N. Park Ave., Meadville. The memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. in McCracken Chapel, with the Rev. Ellen Rezek, chaplain, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Hospice of Crawford County Inc., 310 N. Monroe St., Titusville, Pa. 16354; or to the Northwest Pennsylvania Woodland Association, 2811 Buie Road, Kingsville, Ohio 44048.
Arrangements are under the direction of Robert W. Waid Funeral Home, Inc., 581 Chestnut St., Meadville.
Please share a memory of Pete for the family at waidfuneralhome.net.