Jean A. (Brennan) Kozack, 98, Came to Haverhill in 1975

Jean_KozackJean A. (Brennan) Kozack, 98, of Haverhill, passed away peacefully after a period of declining health Saturday, July 30.

She was born Feb. 20, 1918, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to a traditional Irish Catholic family with two siblings, Frank and Claire. She graduated high school in 1936 and, shortly thereafter, married William Kozack. In her early 20s, she suffered from degenerative cataracts that ultimately left her blind. With optimism, vigor and tenacity, she independently navigated a daily commute on the subways of New York City to her job as a medical clerk at Con-Edison and raised two children, William Jr. and James, eventually as a single mother. After working at Con Edison for more than 20 years, she retired and left New York for Haverhill in 1975. However, her resilience and accent did not remain in Brooklyn. She was accompanied by her son's growing family and one of her four guide dogs. For the next 20 years, Kozack and her guide dog walked more than three miles a day in the neighborhood.

In her adopted hometown, Kozack went on to receive an associate degree with honors at Northern Essex Community College, to take on multiple leadership positions in senior groups for the blind and to become a grandmother of four.  She continued to thrive through her 90s. In her free time, she enjoyed chocolate, dancing, listening to books on tape and the occasional margarita with salt.

She is survived by her sons, William Kozack and his wife, Yurie of Haverhill and James Kozack of Spring Valley, N.Y.; four grandchildren, Katherine, Kenneth and his wife, Elisabeth, Ann and James; and two great-grandsons, William and Nathaniel.

Her funeral mass will be celebrated Friday, at 11 a.m., in St. James Church, 185 Winter St. Visitation will be held prior to the mass, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., at Linnehan-Grondin Funeral Home, 129 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill. Interment will be held in St. James Cemetery, Haverhill. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her name to the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind Inc., 371 East Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787-2976. Donations will be pooled and will be used to sponsor a seeing-eye dog or kennel. Online contributions may be sent to: http://www.guidedog.org/.