Anthony Edward Kobukowski, Jr., age 73, known by the name of Tony, went to be with the Lord on September 22, 2023. He passed at home, among his loving family, following his long battle with disease - a battle he bravely fought. While a great and powerful light disappeared from this world on that heavy September morning, the lives enkindled by it in love, compassion, joy, and wisdom will continue to shine forth, and Tony’s light will continue to dispel all darkness. For no darkness or despair was ever powerful enough to diminish the warmth of his smile, the comfort of his care, the sincerity of his empathy, or the unshakeable truth of his love.
Born in Florence, South Carolina on August 15, 1950, and raised by loving parents, Tony fostered through childhood an immense desire to heal and help. Tony went on to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of South Carolina, before undertaking training in Respiratory Therapy. He then completed a Master’s degree in Industrial Education from Clemson University and spent a career as a Respiratory Therapist and as a teacher of Respiratory Therapy. It was never enough for Tony to simply enact his own passion for compassionate care: he always sought ways to ignite that passion in others and equipped them to experience it for themselves. Tony took great pride in not only fulfilling his duties as a respiratory therapist, but in the joy and comfort he was able to provide to everyone he encountered in the course of his work - patients, family members, and co-workers alike. He always held his work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as some of his most important, and he never failed to smile when speaking of all those little lives that he was able to serve, heal, and comfort.
It was this God-given desire to bring light to darkness and a still, small voice which called him to drop everything, turn his eyes to the Lord, and begin his ministry. He went on to complete a Master’s of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and was ordained by Dr. David Gallamore at Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley, SC. As in all things, Tony used his ministry to bring comfort to the comfortless, hope to the hopeless, and the word of God to all. After serving as pastor of three churches, Tony once more felt the Spirit’s direction to souls that needed his light. He once again was placed by the Lord at the bedside, this time of the dying, as a hospice chaplain. For what he felt was the culmination of both his ministry and his lifelong commitment to healthcare, Tony had an endless passion. At the side of countless individuals, for whom human medicine had reached its limit, Tony brought the word and peace of the Great Physician. It was bringing peace and comfort to those who were at their lowest that filled Tony with a surety that he was exactly where he needed to be. After another career full of love, compassion, and an immovable duty to his fellow man, Tony retired. He spent many beautiful years surrounded by the love of friends, family, and anyone fortunate enough to sit for a while and listen to his stories, full of humor, wisdom, and life.
To anyone who knew him, Tony was a rare combination of counselor, protector, joker, champion, storyteller, and teacher. He never met a person he couldn’t inspire, make laugh, or comfort. He was genuinely the life of every party, could bring joy from sadness like water from a stone, and could ignite within all those around him the desire to live a little more joyfully, a little more compassionately, a little more lovingly. He loved animals (especially his beloved dog, Karlie), knowledge, good food, adventure, and a good story. He loved his family more than anything on this earth, and his loving children will carry his lessons with them and his love within them, forever. His beloved wife will always know she is never truly alone, and their love will never fade. His friends will know they remain his friends in death as they were in life. And all who knew him know that a light this bright, even when it seems to fade from view, is as eternal as love, or time, or heaven, for it is the light that can only come from the purest of souls, mirroring the love of God for all to see, for all time.
Tony is survived by his wife, Libby Beck Kobukowski, his daughter, Elizabeth Kobukowski, his son, Matthew Kobukowski, and his first cousin, who was and always will be like a brother, Rev. Bob Laidlaw (Traci).
He is predeceased by his brother, who died in infancy, Frankie, his parents Anthony “Kubby” Kobukowski and Elizabeth “Lib” Kobukowski, and his son’s late fiancée, Addison Binnicker, who he loved as a daughter.
In memory of Tony’s remarkable life, a visitation will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023, from 1:00pm to 1:45pm at Robinson Funeral Home - Powdersville Road in Easley, SC. Following the visitation, a memorial service will be held at 2:00pm in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home - Powdersville Road. To those who are unable to attend in person, the memorial service will be live-streamed via the Robinson Funeral Home website (www.RobinsonFuneralHomes.com). An inurnment will follow in Robinson Memorial Gardens - Chapel of Reflection, and all who would like to be present are welcome to attend.
What a glorious reunion Tony is having in heaven, as the Lord tells him, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
“Visit www.RobinsonFuneralHomes.com or Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory - Powdersville Road”