Donald E. Kolowsky
December 21,1932 – April 23, 2021
Don was called to his new home in heaven on April 23, 2021. While we will all miss him terribly, we rejoice in his new life with Jesus and cheer his completion of a wonderful and meaningful life.
He was born in Brooklyn, NY, the only and beloved child of immigrant parents Greta and Erich Kolowsky. Despite starting life speaking only German, he excelled in school, enrolling at 16 in Houghton College and later transferring to Cornell University to study Chemical Engineering. When his father died in 1952, Don returned home and completed his degree at Brooklyn Polytechnic while working full time nights as a lab technician at Pfizer and attending college full time days! He continued with Pfizer for his entire 40-year career working in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Sandwich, England; Groton, CT and New York City. He retired as President of Specialty Chemicals and Vice President of the Corporation.
Don served on the boards of The Chemical Manufacturers Association, The Independence Savings Bank in Brooklyn, The Bowery Mission in New York City, the advisory board of Baruch College Graduate School of Business, the national board of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Annual Marco Island Community Prayer Breakfast and numerous local boards and commissions.
In 1954, Don married Lynn Erickson, beginning a partnership of more than 66 years of love, commitment and fun that was a shining example of what marriage is intended to be. Don and Lynn raised their four children on Saunders Point, a small waterfront community in Niantic, Ct with a neighborhood association centered around sports, families and local traditions. He referred to his weekends home from work in New York as “vacations in paradise”! He loved nothing more than taking his family tubing, waterskiing (doing his best to induce the most wild wipe-outs), playing in the mixed doubles tennis competitions to the loud “boo’s” when they won yet again. He served as association president for four summers, doing his best to make Saunders Point an even better place to live.
Together Don and Lynn shared their love and faith with their family, which grew to include four children and their spouses; Karen (Otto) Folkerts, Bruce (Kathy), Donna, and Doug (Mary Lynn), their seven wonderful grandchildren; Kristine (Eric) Van Winkle, Jeffrey, Amy, Kevin, Kyle, Tyler and Zachary, and three lively and lovely great grandsons; Oliver, Henry, and Charlie Van Winkle.
As much as Don loved his family, the foundation of his life was a faith in God which guided him through his life and upon which he set his priorities. He and Lynn worshipped at the Groton Bible Chapel in Connecticut, the Presbyterian Church on Marco Island, Florida, and The Village Church at Shell Point in Ft. Myers in Florida and were generous supporters in hospitality, time, treasure and prayer of many faith-based organizations and friends throughout the world.
Don is a follower of Jesus and put Him above all else. The earthly result was a humble, gentle, patient, loving and generous man who led by example more than words.
He had a mischievous sense of humor! It didn’t take a lot to make him happy – a good apple or bowl of butter pecan ice cream, spotting dolphins and manatees off the shore of Marco Island or Shell Point or playing sports with friends. We look forward to seeing him again.
There will be a memorial service May 13, 2021, 10:30am, at The Village Church in Shell Point in Ft. Myers, Florida with a reception following.
In lieu of flowers, or to honor his memory, donations can be made to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, World Vision, International Justice Mission, or the Pavilion at Shell Point.
15100 Shell Point Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33908, United States