La Posada resident Norbert Jankowicz has wanted for years to establish a memorial of some kind in memory of his wife, Josephine Frances Jankowicz, who passed away in August 2008.

Much of Josephine’s end-of-life care was at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson and Jankowicz decided that St. Mary’s should be the recipient of a donation in her honor.

Carondelet St. Mary’s recently completed a $2 million exterior renovation. The construction project included the resurfacing of the full exterior of the building, the addition of flagstone accents and the installation of 200 energy-efficient windows.

“I had talked about some sort of memorial that I could help fund at the hospital and when the exterior was almost done, somebody wondered about the cross for the front,” Jankcowicz, 89, said. “I gave it some thought and that’s when I knew there was nothing better that I could do than make it happen. It will be there forever and ever.”

The fabricated 34-by-24 foot illuminated cross will hang above the front entry of the hospital. Installation began Tuesday. A plaque bearing Josephine’s name will be placed inside the hospital, possibly inside the hospital chapel, informing the readers whose memory the giant outside cross represents.

High school sweethearts, Jankowicz said he met his wife when he was 16, and they were married 63 years.

“We had a wonderful life together and she was the finest wife a man could have,” Jankowicz said. “She was homemaker most of her life, the best cook and she was close to church and God.”

Regina Ford | 547-9740