Leah Theresa Koczwanski (nee DeCola) went home to her heavenly father on Tuesday, September1, 2020, just short of celebrating her 93rd birthday. She was welcomed into heaven by her loving husband of 55 years, Mathew, and her beautiful daughter Pamela Russo. Leah was born on September 14, 1927, to Pasquale and Filomena DeCola. She was the youngest of six children. She is survived by her loving daughter Patricia Mckenzie and her wonderful son-in-law, Steven Russo. She had five adoring grandchildren Ryan (Monica), Patrick, and Emily Mckenzie and Erin (David) Russo Thompson and Michael Russo (Norbert), and six loving great grandchildren; Andrew, Rebecca and Emma (Ryan) and Alex, Clara and Nolan (Erin). Leah also leaves behind many very special and loved nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and nephews, Godchildren and several long-time, very loving friends and neighbors.
Leah came to Tucson, AZ from Maywood, IL in the ealy 1950's where she met Matt Koczwanski at a dance club in downtown Tucson. Matt asked her to dance and the rest is history (The way they danced together was amazing!). After starting their family, Leah then began a long and succseful career as a federal employee with the US Postal Service by sorting mail for the postal carriers and then retiring in the 1970's as one of the first USPS female supervisory employees. She also volunteered for many years at the UNICEF Center store here in Tucson.
Among many things, Leah will be remembered for her strong faith, sharp wit and great sense of humor (a common thread throughout her family) - everyone loved hearing her "Herman the Lion" story. She had a few great nicknames - Mama, Lee, Nana, Nana Banana, Aunt Lee, Auntie Wee and Mrs. K. We'll always remember her incredible pasta sauce, homemade biscotti, "Easter Pie" and the crosses she would make with blessed palms on Palm Sunday (making palm crosses was something very special that she shared with her grandaughter, Emily) - just a few of the loved traditions she passed on from her mother and father. Leah and Matt left a great legacy of celebrating family and they always strived to be sure thier family had the best.
Leah will be laid to rest, next to Matt, on September 11th, 2020 at Holy hope Mausoleum, Tucson, AZ. A memorial mass will be celebrated in her honor at a future date.
Leah's family wants to thank the many nurses, doctors and employees at Tucson Medical Center an Peppi's House-TMC Hospice for the excellent care and compassion they extended to her in her final days. Many thanks also go out to Leah's loving caregivers and the caring employees of Atria Campana del Rio where she lived for the past two years. And last, thanks to Angel Valley Funeral Home for their assistance in honoring her with a beautiful farewell.
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