Retired Hammond Police Officer Joseph Koscielniak was known for his sense of humor and practical jokes, said Lucy Balog, his sister.
“He loved practical jokes and pulled them on anybody he could find,” Balog said. “If he couldn’t pull it off himself he found someone to help.”
Balog said her brother was a loyal friend.
“With Joe you had a friend for life,” Balog said. “If he knew you needed help he was there to do it.”
Koscielniak, 74, of St. Germaine, Wis., and formerly of Hammond, treasured the time he spent with his family and grandchildren.
Married 43 years to his wife Sandy, who survives, the couple had one son, three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
After a 25-year career, Koscielniak retired from the Hammond Police Department as a detective sergeant. He was involved with the Hammond FOP and credit union.
Koscielniak ultimately realized his dream of retiring to Wisconsin where he promptly found a job driving a school bus. He joined the St. Germaine Lions Club, receiving its highest honor, the Melvin Jones Award. The Wisconsin Lions Club also bestowed its highest honor on him, the Rick Sturgis Fellowship Award, Balog said.
Koscielniak was a hospice volunteer.
“The hospice staff talked about what a loyal and trusted volunteer he was,” Balog said. “Every Sunday he would go to Mass and then take donuts to the patients at hospice. On Thursdays he would play cribbage with them and help the nurses.”
Koscielniak, who enjoyed listening to big band music, was a fan of the Chicago Bears and Cubs.
Most of all, Balog said, she will miss her brother’s warped sense of humor.