Oscar M. Cosner, 89, died peacefully the evening of Tuesday, July 23, 2013, at Western Maryland Regional Medical Center following a short illness. Born on March 27, 1924 in Beryl, West Virginia, he was the son of the late Harry and Virgie (Hanlin) Cosner. His faithful wife and companion of sixty-five years, Joanna Fazenbaker Cosner, died two years ago. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Grant Cosner and an infant sister, Patsy Lou Cosner; as well as a brother-in-law, Gene Ferguson of Arlington, Tennessee. Four of his beloved nephews also preceded him in death: Neil Eric, Scott, and James Fazenbaker; and, Michael Galen McCarty. One of his dear nieces died recently, Stephanie Ferguson.
Oscar is survived by thirteen devoted nieces and nephews including: Patrick E. McCarty and wife Shirley of Westernport; Cecelia Ann (Keplinger) Durning of Pittsburgh; Russell C. Keplinger, Jr. and wife Paula of Alma, WV; Jonathan Keplinger and wife, Jeanie also of Pittsburgh; Tina Fazenbaker of Hagerstown; Troy Ferguson Walsnovich of Hendersonville, TN; Eric Ferguson of Memphis, TN; Leonard Cosner of Keyser; Janice Cosner and Donna Cosner. He is also survived by eleven grand nephews and nieces.
Leaving formal schooling during his eleventh year, Oscar enlisted in United States Army where he was assigned to the World War II Air Force, ultimately serving in the 22nd Bombardment Group known as the Red Raiders, in New Guinea, the Philippines, and Palau Island. He served as a truck mechanic and member of the ground transportation unit. Returning home he took business and accounting courses at Potomac State College where he completed his GED thus completing his high school education.
An outside department supervisor, Mr. Cosner spent forty years as an employee of the MeadWestvaco Company in Luke. Most of his work found him directing wood yard responsibilities as well as maintenance of the company’s railroad from the Luke mill to the Bloomington wood storage and preparation facility.
Oscar and his beloved Jo Anna lived in the Walnut Street home place of her father and mother for their entire life together. Oscar was a well known gardener of both flowers and vegetables. He was noted for his beautiful home and lovely flower gardens. Just this year, Oscar loaned most of his vegetable garden to his new neighbor, Nathan Beeman, who he taught to plant, cultivate and harvest for the first time.
Although they had no children of their own, the Cosners “adopted” and otherwise provided nurturing to dozens of young people in the family and neighborhood. Well-remembered by area children was “ritual” dunkings in the Cosner rock garden fish pond.
Baptized a member of the Church of the Brethren, Oscar embraced his wife’s denomination for much of his life. A member of St. James Episcopal Church in Westernport, Oscar served the Vestry of that church for many terms, often acting as the Property Warden. Following his wife’s passing, Oscar returned his membership to the Westernport Church of the Brethren while remaining emotionally and fondly attached to his many friends at St. James Church.
The earlier years of the Cosner marriage found them loving and participating in outdoor activities. Their rock garden and fish pond provided a lovely respite from worldly cares and was frequented by neighborhood families. He was fond of all animals but especially the many dogs and cats that frequented his home over the decades. Oscar was a crack shot with a rifle and use of a bow and arrow. He hunted with his friends for many years. Weekends often found his family and friends at Pleasant Valley for picnics and swimming.
A devoted horseman, Mr. Cosner took part in showing his champion, Dawn Ray, at regional horse shows. He and Joanna were instrumental in the founding of the High Rock Horse Club on McMullen Highway. He was an early board member and supporter.
Oscar had many skills and loved do-it-yourself projects both at church and at home. He was responsible for totally remodeling the home place, building planters and bird houses as well as constructing concrete walls and a large flagstone patio adjacent to the rock garden. Often as not he was available to neighbors and friends to help with their projects.
Friends and family will be received at the Boal Funeral Home, Westernport, on Friday, July 26, 2013, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
A funeral service will take place at eleven o’clock the morning of Saturday, July 27 at Westernport Church of the Brethren with the Rev. William Shimer officiating. Intermit will be at the Philos Cemetery in Westernport. A luncheon will be served in the Fellowship Hall of the church following the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions are encouraged to the Westernport Church of the Brethren Youth Ministries, 198 Oak View Drive, Westernport, MD 21562.