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Jack W. Kowalski, 80, of Asbury, IA passed away on Monday, June 4, 2018 at home surrounded by his family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at the Church of the Resurrection with Fr. Andrew Marr officiating. Entombment will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery with military honors accorded by the American Legion Post #6 of Dubuque. Family and friends may visit from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at Leonard Funeral Home and Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Rd. Dubuque, where a parish wake service will be held at 6:00 p.m.
Jack was born in Onekama, Michigan on October 30, 1937 the son of Frank and Hazel (Neilsen) Kowalski. He married Jean Klein on August 11, 1983 in Dubuque. Jack attended Lincoln Grade School and went to Manistee High School for a couple years before graduating from Onekama High School in 1955. “Go Portagers!” He lettered in track, baseball and basketball. After graduation from high school at the age of 17 Jack enlisted in the Army. He served with the 82nd Airborne in North Carolina then went with the advanced team for re-activation of the 101st Airborne in Fort Campbell Kentucky. He was stationed in Korea for the remainder of his enlistment. After a couple months of being out of the service he reenlisted to start a career in weather. He served in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Greenland and Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. While in the service he played fast pitch softball for the post team as a pitcher and 3rd baseman in 6th Army Tournaments in Fort Louis, Washington. After 6 more years of military, a grand total of 8 years, 11 months and 18 days he was finally discharged. A lot of schooling was accomplished during the military along with many weather courses taken in colleges.
After his time in the service, he started civilian life. Jack took a position with the National Weather Service, Atlantic Weather Patrol which involved 3 or 4 civilians going out on Coast Guard Cutters to a certain location in the North Atlantic Ocean and giving guidance to Aircraft flying across the ocean and letting them know what their location was. After this was disbanded Jack spent time in Apalachicola, Florida, Lansing, Michigan and finally as Official in Charge of the Weather Service Office in Dubuque where retirement followed in January of 1993. After retirement he worked on the 1st gambling boat in Dubuque, the old Diamond Jo and then Lacoma Golf Course in East Dubuque, IL. He followed the grandkids for 13 years to South Carolina before they moved back north to Dubuque.
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Jean; two sons, Jeff (Paula) Hefel of South Carolina and Ryan (Jennifer) Hefel of Elgin, IL; three grandchildren, Lauren, Riley and Aiden and one grandson on the way; two brothers, Bob (Joann) Kowalski of Tampa, Florida and Frank Kowalski of Michigan, two sisters, Pat and Marilyn (Hogie) of Michigan and many nieces and nephews.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Kathy; mother and father-in-law, Elmer and Lorraine Klein; brother-in-law, Jim Richard; and a nephew, Joe McDermott.
In Lieu of flowers and statues a memorial fund has been established in Jack’s name.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Hospice of Dubuque especially Betsy and Angela as well as Dr. Caceres and Jackie, Karen and Marv Freiburger for the wonderful care and support they have given to Jack and his family.