A Christmas Legacy

For more years than I can remember, making a family trip to the Kobilarcik home to see their “Christmas in Motion” display in Wooster was simply a part of our holiday celebrations. So our family was very saddened to hear that Albert Kobilarcik passed away last week at eighty-seven years old. We did not know him well, nor his family, yet Albert blessed our lives.

Every Christmas when we visited his home to enjoy their display and Albert became Santa for us and our children.  Our children grew up sitting on his lap, making their Christmas wishes, and then enjoying a sweet candy cane, a hug and a smile.

When we heard the news of Albert’s passing, our family began to share our favorite Christmas memories from our trips to the Kobilarcik home. Hannah and Sydney remember eating at Fazoli’s before we went to see the Christmas in Motion display. A little pasta, a little bread, and a lot of fun. As our children have grown, our celebrations have changed. With teenagers, we now spend time at Starbucks getting coffee and cocoa after visiting the display.

Our Christmas memories seem to be gift wrapped in Kobilarcik memories. There was the year when Riley was just a baby and we came home from our Kobilarcik visit to discover that she was having a fever seizure. We spent the night at the ER figuring out what was wrong with her. Then there was the year it was so cold, we practically froze solid as we walked around looking at their display.

I can picture our kids as toddlers running up to the glass and pressing their nose tightly against it to try and read the Santa list of names to see if theirs was on it. They wiggled their hips like the dancing Santa, screamed with delight at the ballet dancer twirling and laughed out loud when they heard Mrs. Clause snore in her bed. There were snow-filled Decembers, rainy Decembers, and warm Decembers. Too many to recount. That’s what happens over a lifetime of Decembers. Life goes on even as things change.

But December just wasn’t December until we made our way to the Christmas in Motion display at the Kobilarcik home. No matter what the weather was like or what was happening in our lives, we always left with warmth and joy in our hearts.

That was the gift of Albert. A gift he wrapped up every year in his welcoming smile, seen in the dancing of a Santa Claus and enjoyed with the swinging of an acrobat bear.
I want to express my condolences to the entire Kobilarcik family with their loss of Albert. But I also want them to know that Albert’s legacy lives on in anyone and everyone whose life he touched through his many ministries, including the “Christmas in Motion” display.

Though Albert may not have known my name, I knew his. Albert blessed my family, and we are not unique. There were over 150,000 people who visited his Wooster, Ohio home over the twenty years he invited us into his life through his Christmas in Motion display.

That’s what a legacy is. Something that lives on after you are gone. Albert Kobilarcik’s Christmas legacy lives on in us.

And we are not unique.

To honor Albert Kobilarcik, donations may be made to the Albert 'Koby' Kobilarcik Educational Fund of the Wayne County Community Foundation at http://www.waynecountycommunityfoundation.org/education-funds/albert-koby-kobilarcik-educational-fund: This new fund was established to honor Albert 'Koby' Kobilarcik and provides library materials and literacy teaching aids to local elementary level schools.

Posted by Trish Berg 9:02 AM  

1 Comment:

  1. Farmer*swife a/k/a Glass_Half_Full said...
    Awww, so sweet. What a wonderful set of memories he left y'all with. I'm sure knowing that would warm his family.

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