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Published: Friday, 12/22/2006

Ex-firefighter was a township trustee

SANDUSKY - Robert J. "Bob" Kowalk, 59, a housing rehabilitation specialist and a retired longtime firefighter here, died of cancer Monday in his home here.

Mr. Kowalk retired from the Sandusky Fire Department in 1995 after 25 years as a firefighter.

For the last 10 years, he was a housing rehabilitation specialist at the WSOS Community Action Commission Inc., Fremont, where he received a distinguished service award earlier this month.

Mr. Kowalk also was a Perkins Township trustee for eight years in the late 1990s through the early 2000s.

In his free time, he enjoyed volunteering as a coach for the Perkins High School junior varsity baseball team.

A Boston Red Sox fan, he was inducted into the 2007 Class of the Boston Red Sox Baseball Fantasy Camp Hall of Fame.

"He was a great person, a great husband, and a loving father. And he deeply cared for the community and all the kids of the community," his daughter Tracey West said.

A native of Sandusky, Mr. Kowalk graduated in 1965 from Sandusky High School. He later enlisted in the Marine Corps and served two years in Vietnam.

After his honorable discharge, he returned to Sandusky and became a firefighter.

Mr. Kowalk was a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Sandusky.

His other memberships included the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters, Marine Corps League, the USMC Vietnam Helicopter Association, American Legion, AMVETS, and VFW.

Surviving are his wife of 36 years, Carol Kowalk; daughters, Kelly Miller, Tracey West, and Jodi Kowalk-Marten; sisters, Lois Jeanne Papenfus and Barbara Kenyon, and five grandchildren.

Services will be at 10 a.m. today in Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Sandusky. Arrangements are by the Pfeil Funeral Home, Sandusky.

The family suggests tributes to the Stein Hospice Service, Sandusky.

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