Born to Carl and Anna Kowalski December 15, 1937 in his grandmother’s home in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Carl Fredrick Kowalski died March 13, 2021 of complications related to Lewy Body dementia. A devoted and loving husband, father and friend, Carl was known for his kind generosity, his warmth, his measured patience, and his joie de vivre. At parties or gatherings, he had a natural instinct for drawing people into a conversation and making them feel cared for and welcome.
Growing up, he was surrounded by a large and close-knit family community. An altar boy and a devout Catholic, Carl’s faith was a fundamental part of his identity. Every Sunday and every holy day, whether in Prague, Peru or Pensacola, Carl would find a church and attend mass to take communion. A gifted student, he earned a scholarship and graduated from The Hill School just outside of Pottstown (much to his mother’s surprise who famously told him she would “eat her hat” if he were accepted to The Hill School). He earned a scholarship and took his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell in Chemical Engineering.
Carl’s time at Cornell proved seminal both personally and professionally. While working toward his degree, he met and developed close lifelong friendships with his two roommates, Stephen Tweedie, and David Portman as well as his lab partners Paul Morris, Chet Fox. During his super senior fifth year, he was set up on a blind date with his future wife, Mary Ann Sutton who he would propose to and marry within a year.
Hired by Airco Industrial Gases upon graduation, Carl and his young wife were soon settled in Rutherford, New Jersey in a little furnished apartment that they paid $125 a month rent for. Carl earned his MBA at NYU while working full time and starting a family—his son Carl (Charlie) was born in 1962, and Beth-Ann in 1964. Carl and Mary Ann eventually moved with their two young children, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where they would buy a house and have two more boys, Edward (Ted) (1968) and Robert (1971) and continue developing deep friendships with those around them. They were often entertaining or playing bridge or going out to eat with neighbors and work colleagues.
They lived in Peters Township for nearly fifteen years before Carl was transferred back to New Jersey in 1980. A few years later, he left his position at Airco to take a job with a competing industrial gas company, Air Liquide. Carl and Mary Ann would move several times in New Jersey (from Summit to Oceanport to Pine Beach) before retiring and settling in The Villages, Florida. In addition to socializing, Carl loved music, dancing and travel. He and Mary Ann would visit all 50 states as well as many countries in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. They made friends seemingly wherever they went, adding more and more folks to their Christmas list as they developed and fostered relationships all across the globe. They knew the Villages would be their ideal home once they learned about dancing on the square and the many opportunities to play bridge and connect socially with other Villagers.
Carl is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Mary Ann, as well as his four children and eight grandchildren, (Little) Charlie, Brian, Ben, Lydia, Nadia, Ellie, Simon and Sutton. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Lewy Body Dementia Foundation https://www.lbda.org/donate/ A celebration of life is planned for Father’s Day weekend, June 2021. Details TBD.