Robert J. "Bob" Kowalk, 59, of 2509 Campbell St., Sandusky, died Monday afternoon, Dec. 18, 2006, in his residence after an eight-week battle with cancer.
He was born April 2, 1947, in Sandusky and was a 1965 graduate of Sandusky High School. Bob was a U.S. Marine corps Veteran, having served two years in Vietnam. Following his military discharge, he was a firefighter for the city of Sandusky for 25 years, retiring in 1995. He also served his community as a Perkins Township Trustee for eight years. Bob had a special love for the area youth and sports. He was a OHSAA Bay Area Football Official, a Perkins High School jayvee baseball coach, member of the Roy Hobbs Baseball team, the Big Brothers Perkins High School Basketball program and had coached area softball. He was an avid Boston Red Sox fan, having attended the Boston Red Sox fantasy camp for the last four years. During the 2005 fantasy camp, Bob won the Cy Young Award. Most recently, he was named into the 2007 class of the Boston Red Sox Baseball fantasy camp Hall of Fame. He had also worked as Housing Rehab Specialist at WSOS Industries in Fremont, where he was recently presented with a Distinguished Service Award from the cities of Port Clinton and Norwalk. He was a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Sandusky, OAPFF, FD Local 327, Marine Corp. League, Popasmoke Combat Aircrew, American Legion, AMVETS and VFW.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, the former Carol A. Gioffredo; three daughters, Kelly A. Miller, Tracey L. (David) West and Jodi L. Kowalk-Marten, all of Sandusky; five grandchildren, Anthony and Morgan Bruno, Caleigh and Matthew Marten and Brady West; two sisters, Lois Jeanne Papenfus of Canton, Ohio, and Barbara L. Kenyon of Hatfield, Pa.; several aunts, uncles and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Geraldine (Kriss) Kowalk; one infant sister, Donna J. Kowalk; grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Kriss and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kowalk; and other family members.
Friends may call from 2-8 p.m. Thursday in the Gathering Space at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 510 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, where a memorial service will be 8 p.m., with The Rev. Tom Fant officiating. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Friday in Sts. Peter and Paul Church with The Rev. Marty Nassr officiating. At the request of the deceased, cremation will follow. Pfeil Funeral Home, Sandusky Chapel, 617 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky is in charge of the arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to Bob Kowalk Benefit Fund, 2509 Campbell St., Sandusky, OH 44870; Back to the Wild, P.O. Box 423, Castalia, OH 44824; or to Stein Hospice Service, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, OH 44870.