Wendy Alexander/Madera Tribune File Photo
Albert O. Cosyns.
Was patriarch of Madera farming family
Albert O. Cosyns, 94, died peacefully at his home on June 7, 2019.
He was born March 12, 1925, to Belgian immigrants Ivo and Maria Cosyns, in Long Beach. He graduated from Anaheim High School in 1942, enlisted in the United States Army in 1944 and served in the Pacific Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa. He served on Iwo Jima, and during during D-Day 75 years ago.
He came home in August 1946, and began farming with his father and brother Charles in Los Alamitos.
He courted the love of his life, Margaret Lerno. The couple was married in 1947 and welcomed three children, Linda Reynoso in 1948, Allen in 1949 and Rick in 1957.
In November of 1959, Albert and Margaret bought 350 acres in the Howard District of Madera County.
Although Madera County was a community where they knew no one, they soon settled in, making friends and getting to know their neighbors. Some of these friendships remain to this day, said his son, Allen.
The operation has grown substantially and today and is known as Cosyns Farms, being worked by Allen and Rick.
“My dad was a great teacher with a lot of patience,” said Allen. “He provided well for his family.”
Allen and his brother Rick always knew they would go into the family business with their father, he said.
Cosyns Farms grows wine grapes, almonds, pistachios and alfalfa. They are selling their interest in a bee operation. Cosyns Farms employs 35 people.
“My dad always had great respect for his employees,” Allen said. “He had a good life.”
A civic-minded individual, Albert was active in Madera Young Farmers, Bonita Soil Conservation District, Sugar Beet Board, Elks, and VFW. He was a founding member of the Madera Agricultural Youth Association, and a member of the Madera Ag Boosters.
In 2009, Albert was selected the Madera County Senior Farmer of the Year by the Madera Chamber of Commerce.
He and Margaret were also members of the Madera Dance Club. He and his second wife Betty Mello traveled extensively across the United States in their motor home. He and his companion, Ruth Ferrarese, also did some traveling and enjoyed Sunday drives around the Madera countryside.
Albert was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Charles, his sister Yvonne Lerno and all of the Cosyns and Lerno in-laws, two nephews and a great-niece. His beloved Margaret passed in 1978 after 31 years of marriage. Betty died in 2005 after 25 years of marriage, and Ruth in 2014 after 9 years of friendship.
He is survived by his children Linda and Carlos Reynoso, Allen and Susan Cosyns, Rick and Lynne Cosyns, seven grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and one great-great-grandson, as well as many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his very good friends Walter “Buck” Bursey and Roger Belden, whom he called his little brother.
Rosary will be celebrated at 7 p.m. on June 18, 2019, at Jay’s Chapel, 1121 Roberts Ave., Madera, CA 93637. The Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 11 a.m. June 19, 2019, at St. Joachim Catholic Church, 401 W. 5th Street in Madera
Donations in Albert’s memory may be made to St. Joachim Catholic School, 401 W, Fifth St., Madera, CA 93637 or Madera Ag Boosters. 800 So. Madera, Ave., 93637 or the donor’s favorite charity.