Cover photo for Robert Stanley Kostreva's Obituary
Robert Stanley Kostreva Profile Photo
1949 Robert 2020

Robert Stanley Kostreva

February 28, 1949 — September 19, 2020

Rev. Robert Stanley Kostreva, 71, of Johnson City, passed away Saturday, September 19, 2020, in the Johnson City Medical Center.

Robert lived in Johnson City since 2001, and the past 13 years have been in marriage with Linda Rowlett Kostreva.

He was the son of the late Stanley and Lottie Lukaszek Kostreva, and he grew up in New Britain, Connecticut, where he was known as “Bobby” to his family and friends. Robert will be laid to rest on October 1st in New Britain at the Polish National Catholic Cemetery, alongside his father and his mother.

Robert graduated from New Britain High School, where he was captain of the tennis team, a member of the basketball team, and played the bassoon in the high school orchestra. Robert holds a Master of Theology degree with Cum Laude honors from Emory Univerity’s Candler School of Theology, and also graduated with a B.A. in Creative Arts from the State University of New York at Old Westbury, where he concentrated in Jazz Music Performance. During undergraduate years, he also studied jazz piano in Boston at both the New England Conservatory and the Berklee College of Music. Most recently Robert combined his theology and music backgrounds at West Market Street United Methodist Church in Johnson City, serving as assistant to Reverend Paul Longmire. Robert also held ministerial positions at churches in Palm Harbor, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati, Ohio, and his recent ministry in the Johnson City area included regular visitations with residents of local nursing homes and assisted living centers. Prior to his career in church ministry, Robert taught music in the schools in Hartford, Connecticut, and St. Petersburg, Florida, and was an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa, leading the students in the jazz band.

Robert performed with his own jazz groups at various venues for nearly 50 years, and his last performance was a concert entitled “The Jazz Visitors,” which was held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnson City. Over the years he had the pleasure of playing with many fine jazz musicians, including a Grammy winner and a former member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Robert was always a prolific composer of jazz music, and he leaves a legacy of albums and CD’s, which include The Chopin Express, Train of Thought, Mixed Fruit, and Peace Be With You.

Sports was another keen interest that Robert had, and getting to see a particular game on an obscure TV channel often determined the restaurant where he and Linda dined on a given evening. He was a “southpaw” pitcher in baseball and had great eye-hand coordination for tennis, basketball and golf. His knowledge of various pro and college teams, and their present and former players, was immense. He authored columns for sports magazines, and he could converse with anyone about team and individual statistics, as well as particular plays that took place in games, whether it was soccer, football, baseball, or just about any other sport.

Survivors include his wife Linda Rowlett Kostreva; one son, Evan Kostreva and his wife Beth, as well as their son and Bobby’s grandson Evan Kennan Kostreva; two daughters, Katherine Kostreva and her husband Ryan Loya, and Mary Rachel Kostreva; one sister, Nancy Eleanor Biesinger and her husband John; one brother, Daniel Kostreva and his wife Casey Seaman; his nieces Amanda Kostreva and Liza Kostreva, both daughters of Daniel Kostreva and Casey Seaman; his mother-in-law June Fine Rowlett; his brother-in-law Rodney B. Rowlett II; four sisters-in-law, Sarah Lynn Rowlett, Polly Rowlett Mallory, Marian Rowlett-Cox and Heather Rowlett; and eight cousins, all from Connecticut.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Rev. Robert Kostreva, will be held in Johnson City at the West Market Street United Methodist Church at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, October 4, 2020, to be officiated by Reverend Paul Longmire. Another Memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 3, at 11:00 A.M. at St. John’s Church in Duxbury, Massachusetts, where his brother Dan’s family attends. The Duxbury service will be live-streamed over the internet so that people from virtually any location can participate in the celebration of Robert’s life by going to www.StJohnsDuxbury.org and clicking on “Live Service” on the Home Page.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made in Robert’s name to West Market Street United Methodist Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Stanley Kostreva, please visit our flower store.

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Polish National Catholic Cemetery

Memory Gardens Road, Johnson City, TN 37615

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