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Joseph Kowalski

Joseph Kowalski

1931 - 2023

Joseph Kowalski Jr, age 92 of Presque Isle passed away peacefully on November 28, 2023 at the Brook in Rogers City.

Joseph, Joe or Shorty to many and Papa Joe to family, was born in Rogers City on April 14, 1931, to Joseph and Antonia (Szydlowski) Kowalski.

He married Delores (Yarch) on August 4, 1952 at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Rogers City. Delores proceeded him in death on August 19, 2013.

Joseph dedicated his life to raising and providing for his family. He had a strong work ethic and started his working career on the Great Lakes vessels as a cook sending money home to provide for his mother and siblings. After a few years, he had the opportunity to start working at Besser Company as a laborer. While working at Besser’s he obtained his GED and became a State of Michigan Licensed Journeyman’s Electrician. He retired from Besser Company as Head Electrician after 40 years of service. Joseph enjoyed spending time with family and cooking for them and spending time at his camp. A good day for him was going to the casino, and he continued entering the sweepstakes daily hoping to be a big winner until the day he died. Papa Joe, the cook, was known for many favorites but was best known for his homemade pies. Coconut and banana cream pies were at the top of the list with pieces of pie being hidden before the mealtime prayer.

Joseph is survived by his four children, David (Donna) Kowalski, Barbara Fox (Kevin Wickersham), Marilyn “Micki” (Jeffrey) Shea, and Charles (Cynthia) Kowalski; nine grandchildren, Laurie (Chad) Johnston, Lisa (Anthony) VanHorn, Jessica (Joel) Bauer, Sarah Shea, Jacob Shea, Meghan (Jeremiah) Cole, Kathryn (Brad) MacKenzie, Matthew (Miranda Riegler) Kowalski and Christine (Tyler) Hoff; 15 great grandchildren, Kayla (Cody) Morrison, Dillon Goodrich, Teegan and Dominic Cole, Max, Cooper and Porter MacKenzie, Emma Shea, Sophia Losinski, Alex and Mila Bauer, Cassandra, Emily and Ethan VanHorn and Emersyn Kowalski and one great -great grandson, Ian Morrison; three brothers, Wilbur “Red” (Nancy) Kowalski, Robert (Betty) Kowalski and Richard (Rosalynne) Kowalski; two brothers in law, Alvin (Wanda) and James (Diane) Yarch.

Joseph was preceded in death by siblings, Jerome, Julian, Raymond and Elter Kowalski, Florence “Elsie” Smolinski, Eleanor Neumann, Gertrude Miller, Lorene LaFleche and Emilie Yarch.

Interment will take place at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

A private memorial service is being held.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Michigan or charity of your choice.

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Joseph Kowalski – Beck Funeral Home – Rogers City, MI