Jun 29th 1997 - Feb 17th 2012
Through the life of Kurt Kowalski we are reminded that each life is a gift and that each new day is a fresh opportunity to spend loving those around us. Though he was a blessing in our lives for such a short time, Kurt forever changed us through his resilient spirit, his fun-loving nature, and his unending love with no strings attached. He had the best laugh that you could see came from the depth of his toes, and he fully appreciated every moment with his friends and loved ones. Life will never be the same without Kurt here, but his memory will forever remain in all our hearts.
The nineties were a time of rapid growth in America, and this decade was truly the electronic age. The world wide web came to be in 1992, which allowed us to shop online, read entire books online, and even earn a college degree from the comfort of our own home. This was an exciting time in the lives of one hardworking family from Alpena, Michigan, as they were overjoyed to welcome a new baby boy into their hearts and home on June 29, 1997. Kurt William was the younger of two boys born to his parents, Bill and Nancy (Coombs) Kowalski, and he drew his first breath in the presence of his Aunt Linda in addition to his parents that joyous summer day at Alpena General Hospital. He was raised on the family farm that has been in the family for four generations alongside his older brother, Bobby. The Kowalski family was a close-knit group, and Kurt’s parents were caring and devoted when it came to their boys, and they were there for whatever their sons needed, no questions asked.
With an innocent wonder, Kurt truly loved so many things about life that people so easily take for granted. He always perked up at the simplicity of sounds like sirens and motorcycles driving by as well as tearing paper and the crinkling sounds that plastic bags make. Living on the farm provided Kurt with all kinds of sights and sounds that delighted his senses like the singing and the cooing of the birds and the gentle sounds of the sheep. He liked playing with his musical toys and loved listening to music around the house, too. Kurt was particularly fond of his father’s tractor whether it was just the sound of it running that made him feel at home or the fun he had when his father took him out for a ride. He was even content just sitting outside under the trees, and he loved everything about water, especially when it was his bath time.
Although he was rather quiet and shy by nature, there was nothing that meant more to Kurt than the people in his life. Every day he had to spend with his family was the greatest day of his life, and it didn’t matter what they were doing whether it was being there to cheer on his brother at his football games, taking in fair week, deer hunting, or mushroom picking. There was nothing Kurt looked forward to more than being held by his mom and dad. In addition, his longtime caregiver, Shirley Torsch, enriched his life in so many ways. The Kowalski’s dog, Freddy, was a treasured companion that was like a member of the family and held a special place in Kurt’s heart. Although he was physically challenged in many ways, Kurt was a student at Pied Piper Opportunity Center where he enjoyed the company of his teachers.
The ways Kurt touched others was extraordinary in every way. When his father came in and told him, “I’m going to get you,” it was so much fun to watch Kurt laugh down to the tip of his toes. His mother was always touched by his smiles that never seemed to end and his little sighs of contentment that spoke volumes about his perseverance in all things. Kurt’s brother loved the simple joy that came when his younger brother said his name. When his grandpa played “here comes the spider” with him it was hard to tell who appreciated the game more, and his Aunt Linda always sent him kisses through the phone. When Kurt was with his Aunt Linda she seized every opportunity to kiss him on his temple, which always made him bubble over with excitement. Because of his sheer determination and quiet strength Kurt challenged his doctors, which in turn made them better doctors as well.
In everything he did, Kurt Kowalski brought us so much joy. Although he had his physical limitations, he had a carefree spirit and was always a bustle of activity. Kurt loved being with his family and friends, but he wasn’t ever too fond of having to share the television with his big brother. He was casual and comfortable most often, and he could always find something to smile about no matter the challenges that surrounded him. Taken from his loved ones much too soon, Kurt will be deeply missed while his life continues to inspire all those who were blessed to receive his tender touch.
Kurt William Kowalski of Alpena died on Friday, February 17, 2012. Kurt’s family includes his loving parents, Bill and Nancy Kowalski; big brother, Bobby Kowalski; grandfather, Robert Kowalski of Alpena; aunts and uncles, Michael (Jan) Coombs of Birch Run, MI, Ruth (Harry) Plume of Alpena, Rosemarie (Bill) Swartout of Interlochen, MI; Linda Kowalski of Traverse City; Lora (Larry) King of Kingsley, MI; and his step-uncle, Gary (Diane) Benson of Alpena. Kurt is at McWilliams Funeral Home – Alpena where friends will gather on Monday from 3:00-8:00 p.m. and on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hubbard Lake, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Robert Mikkelson officiating. There will be a prayer service at the funeral home Monday evening at 7:45 p.m. Interment will be at King Settlement Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church or Pied Piper Opportunity Center. Please visit Kurt’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you may share a memory or sign the on-line guest book.