MARSHFIELD - Wayne Kowalski, of Marshfield, passed away April 3, 2012, surrounded by loved ones at the Cleveland Clinic. He was a lung transplant recipient and had suffered from a recurrence of pulmonary hypertension. He was waiting for a second transplant when he died.
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Born in Revere, Mass., in 1948, he attended city public schools and graduated from Revere High School in 1966.
An avid bowler from the age of 12, he dreamed of becoming a professional. Urged by his parents, he attended junior college where he met his future wife, Susan, in 1967. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1968 and later that year, he and Susan were married. He served his country in El Paso, Texas, and in the Republic of Korea. He was discharged in 1971.
The military had a maturing effect. After discharge, he began a college career in earnest in the fall of 1971. He was always grateful to a counselor in the admissions office who, despite Wayne's poor academic record, took a chance and recommended him for admission to the University of Massachusetts. It proved to be a wise choice and Wayne graduated with high honors in 1975 with a degree in accounting.
He worked as a certified public accountant at an international accounting firm and then at a local firm. He began a banking career at the Northfield Savings Bank in 1979 and was pleased to be able to serve the bank's depositors and board of trustees. He advanced to the position of CFO and worked with a staff that he characterized as gifted and dedicated for 23 years. He also worked for Central Vermont Medical Center, in the accounting department, and retired from CVMC Credit Union in 2008, as general manager.
He served as an active member of the board of directors at the Plainfield Health Center, as chairman of Central Vermont Community Action Council, as executive director of the Vermont State Bowling Association, as an auditor for Washington West Supervisory Union and as member and chairman of the Marshfield Planning Commission.
Bowling was a lifetime passion. In 1968, he became the first resident from Massachusetts to win a national bowling championship by finishing first for the singles title, scoring higher than more than 27,000 bowlers. In 1970, as a member of the Army's Fort Bliss team, he helped secure wins in three events: teams, doubles and combined score all events at the 4th Army Championships. He also was the all-events champion. In Vermont, he won nine state championships and was elected to the Vermont Bowling Hall of Fame in 1989. He coached and encouraged youth bowlers for many years.
Wayne had a zest for life that was infectious. He was interested in everyone's story and his greatest pleasure was to be available to assist any who could benefit from his wisdom and knowledge. He was generous with his time and had a gift of actively listening.
In addition to bowling, Wayne enjoyed cooking, especially barbecue. He was a talented furniture maker, loved to putter in his wood shop and created many beautiful pieces.
He faced his illness with courage and fortitude and never gave up hope that he could get the right treatment and resume a normal life. His family was the center of his life and he dearly wanted to spend many more years with them.
He is survived by his wife and life partner of 43 years, Susan Kowalski, of Marshfield; daughter Tanya Morehouse and her husband, Kevin, grandsons Tyler and Colby, of Montpelier; and son James Kowalski, of Phoenix; sister Phyllis DePalma and husband Bill Mello, of Northbridge, Mass. His parents, Walter J. Kowalski and Gladys D. Kowalski, of Revere, Mass., predeceased him.
The family requests that memorial contributions be sent to Donate Life America, http://donatelife.net/give-to-dla/, or to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, 801 Roeder Road, Suite 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Give the gift of a lifesaving transplant. Please register at http://donatelife.net/.
A memorial service will be held in early summer.
Published in Times Argus on Apr. 13, 2012