Brother Rice High School is pleased to announce our 2023 Spirit of Blessed Edmund Honorees, Brother George Gremley CFC, Dennis and Carolyn Flynn, and Raymond Kossakowski.
President Reidy shares, “The Spirit of Blessed Edmund Society is the most prestigious honor we have and was established in 1999 to honor those who have epitomized the Brother Rice Spirit. This spirit is reflected in people who have shown extraordinary dedication, love, concern, leadership, and enthusiasm for Brother Rice High School. Without a doubt, this describes the service of this year’s honorees.”
Loyal members of the Brother Rice Community, Carolyn & Dennis Flynn, devoted their time, talents, and treasure to Brother Rice in many ways through the years. Raised in the Catholic tradition, both Carolyn and Dennis were products of Catholic Schools. Dennis attended Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC, and later college at the University of Detroit. Carolyn attended high school at St. Mary’s of Redford and later Mercy College of Detroit. It is no surprise that as Catholic parents who modeled their commitment to faith and family, they prioritized sending their eight children (Bridget ‘78, Betsy ‘79, Katie ‘80, Molly ‘82, Mike ‘84, Pat ‘85, Jimmy ‘86, Megan ‘88) to Catholic Schools, including Marian and Brother Rice High School.
The Flynn’s support of our Catholic community is deeply rooted. They were active members of the Mothers’ and Dads’ Clubs, with Carolyn serving as President of the Mothers’ Club from 1985-1986, taking great pride in supporting the good works at Brother Rice. Carolyn and Dennis Flynn are well respected in the community as role models to fellow parents, their Warrior sons, and grandsons, as well as great friends of Catholic education and so many teachers, counselors, and administrators. It is very fitting that Carolyn and Dennis will join Carolyn’s sister and 2000 Inductee, Sr. Suzanne M. Gourley, IHM, in the Spirit of Blessed Edmund Society. Through their words and actions, Carolyn & Dennis Flynn have truly embodied the Spirit of Blessed Edmund Rice.
Make a gift in honor of the Carolyn & Dennis Flynn here.
Br. George A. Gremley served the Christian Brother Community for 62 years and ministered through teaching and administrating in New York, NY, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and the Chicago, IL, areas. Br. Gremley spent ten years as Principal of Brother Rice High School from 1986 through 1996. He was a graduate of the first Brother Rice High School-Chicago class and went on to join the Christian Brothers earning degrees from Iona College and a Master’s in Education from St. Xavier University.
Br. Gremley was known as an outstanding leader of Brother Rice, who saw the school through a time of transition with humility, hard work, and enormous perseverance. He followed the Christian Brothers’ motto, “To Do and To Teach.” During his tenure, Br. Gremley was instrumental in planning for the future of the school by guiding both building expansion projects and establishing the Fund for RICE, which provides steady financial support to ensure excellence in education for every student of Brother Rice High School. Always concerned that students learn to live the faith, Br. Gremley created the position of Campus Minister and fully supported instituting the Kairos retreat program.
Make a gift in honor of Brother Gremley here.
A beloved teacher, coach, and mentor for over thirty years, Raymond Kossakowski has served as a Science teacher, Science Department Chair, Faculty Association Representative, and a long-time Wrestling Coach. He has made a life-changing impact on our young men beyond teaching science, instilling in them a love of learning and a passion for discovery. He has motivated and inspired countless students to pursue careers in the sciences, and many of his former students have gone on to achieve great success in their chosen fields.
Ray was born in Hamtramck, Michigan, on June 25, 1951. He attended Resurrection grade school in Detroit and graduated from St. Ladislaus High School in Hamtramck. During his years at St. Ladislaus, he developed his interests in science and art. Upon graduation, he attended Wayne State University in Detroit, where he graduated in 1976 with a double major in Biology and Anthropology as well as a unified science minor and a secondary school teaching certificate.
Ray began his teaching career at St. Gemma School, teaching 7th and 8th-grade math and science. In 1985 he met his wife, Patricia, and later that year, they married and moved to Orland Park, Illinois. Upon returning to Michigan, Ray taught biology, chemistry, and physics at East Catholic High School. During those years, Ray was also the varsity wrestling coach at Lamphere High School. He positively recalls his first encounter with the wrestlers from Brother Rice, prompting him to imagine coaching the Warrior wrestling team one day. He was delighted the very next year when Mike Popson asked him to join the Brother Rice Coaching staff. Ray coached during the 1990 and 1991 seasons, and in 1992, Principal Br. George Gremley CFC asked him to join the teaching staff. This fulfilled the wish he first made when he observed the Brother Rice students at the wrestling tournament years before.
With the support of his wife, administration, and fellow staff members, he has taught continuously for the past 30 years at Brother Rice. In addition to serving as Science Department Chair, he has taught Earth Science, Global Science, Biology, and Chemistry.
Ray will retire from Brother Rice at the end of the 2022/23 academic year. There is no doubt that he has left a positive impression on his students, influencing thousands of alumni with his keen interest in the well-being and total formation of the young men of Brother Rice High School. When asked about his decision to retire, Ray said he will miss the students, faculty, and daily activities of education, but with his wife, he looks forward to continuing their journey together, cooking, gardening, going to live theater, and enjoying each other’s companionship.
As a reflective thought, Ray shared that he has gained as much from the members of the Brother Rice family as he has hopefully been able to give back to his students and the community.
Make a gift in honor of Ray Kossakowski here.
We hope you enjoy a few photos from our Spirit of Blessed Edmund Mass and Induction Luncheon below.
President Tom Reidy presents Dennis Flynn with a special gift from Brother Rice, upon inducting Dennis and his late wife, Carolyn, into the society.
Brother Michael Segvich accepted the honor on behalf of the late Brother George Gremley.
Mr. Ray Kossakowski received a standing ovation from students upon his recognition.
Past students attended the Mass to honor Ray Kossakowski.
Mike Flynn ’84 speaks about his parents, Carolyn and Dennis Flynn.
Dennis Flynn shares his heartfelt comments.
Brother Michael Sevich speaks about Brother George Gremley.
Ray Kossakowski addresses guests at the luncheon.
The Spirit of Blessed Edmund Society members gathered for an afternoon celebration following mass. Back row: Ray Kossakowski, Denny King ’64, Carl Grosso, Haithem Sarafa ’75, Brad Simmons ’75, Brother Michael Segvich; Front row: Lorraine Meier, Yvette Orlando, Sr. Marie Cacciatore, Mary Sue and John Everly, Bill Norton, and Dennis Flynn.
Brother Rice High School is a National Blue Ribbon School and ranked the #1 Catholic High School in Michigan for three consecutive years. A proud private educational institution located in Bloomfield Hills.