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Kowalk Classic kicks off today

Mark Hazelwood • Jun 24, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Ray Neill could never forget Bob Kowalk.

The late Kowalk, a former Vietnam War veteran and Sandusky firefighter who died in 2006, will have his name prominently displayed this weekend.

Neill chose Kowalk's memory as the namesake for the Sandusky American Legion Post 83's baseball tournament this weekend -- the six-team Bob Kowalk Classic.

"When I think of Bob, I think of a gentleman," said Neill, Post 83's head coach. "He was just a really nice guy who put his time for others, not only in the service but with the fire department.

"He always had a great positive outlook, and would do anything for anyone in our program."

Kowalk was a 1965 Sandusky graduate who later served two years in Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Marine corps. Following his military discharge, he served 25 years with the Sandusky Fire Department, retiring in 1995.

In 1997, Kowalk was elected to serve the community as a Perkins Township Trustee, a position he held for eight years. He was also visible in the area sports scene as an OHSAA Bay Area football official and the Perkins baseball team's JV coach.

Kowalk died on Dec. 18, 2006 after a two-month battle with melanoma, a skin cancer. He was 59.

For the rest of this story, see Friday's Sandusky Register.

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