Joseph A. Kowell, 93, passed away on Monday, July 28, 2014, in Glastonbury.
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Born in West Springfield to Thomas and Emilia Kowalewski, the family moved to Connecticut when Joe was a boy. He attended Rockville schools. Joe was employed by Hamilton Standard and joined the National Guard, leaving both to enter federal service with the Anti-Tank Company from Manchester in 1941. As World War II began, Joe volunteered for the U.S. Infantry, rising through the ranks from private to captain, serving in both the Pacific and European theaters of war. While company commander of the 2nd Battalion 121st Infantry, Joe was awarded the Bronze Star. At the time leading up to the Battle of the Bulge he stepped on a mine, losing one leg. He was hospitalized and rehabilitated at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D.C., where he met and married New York City native Sarah O'Donnell, who was serving with the U.S. Coast Guard. Joe retired from the Army in July 1946. The newlyweds returned to Connecticut where Joe resumed work at Hamilton Standard until he accepted a position with the Connecticut Military Department as assistant to the adjutant general in the early 1950s.
For many years Joe served as a special representative of the State of Connecticut, serving with distinction through the 1954 hurricane, the 1955 floods and the 1956 riot at the Connecticut State Prison, then located in Wethersfield. He represented Governors Ribicoff and Dempsey at many state functions and ceremonies. He was also the assistant coordinator for state participation in three presidential inaugural ceremonies in Washington, D.C. In his career with the state, Joe advanced in rank to lieutenant colonel. In 1961 the adjutant general was named acting warden of the Connecticut State Prison, and Joe was loaned from the Military Department to the prison, where he served in a number of administrative positions. Joe retired in June 1975. Joe and Sally spent their retirement years in both Manchester and at their vacation home in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. Joe was a member of the Community Baptist Church of Manchester, where he sang in the choir. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge and Sphinx Temple, serving as chief director of the director's staff.
Sarah Kowell preceded Joe in death on Jan. 30, 2011. Brother Charles and sister Helen Colombaro also predeceased him. He leaves two daughters, Mary Lou Osmond of Sydney, Australia, and Anne Dale Marshall of East Aurora, New York; granddaughter, Sara Marshall of Manchester; and niece, Natalie Perry of Hebron.
There are no calling hours.
Memorial services and burial will be private.
Memorial contributions in Joe's memory may be made to a
Holmes Funeral Home, Manchester, is in care of arrangements.
Published in Journal Inquirer from Aug. 7 to Aug. 11, 2014