ABINGTON- Henry J. Kowalski, 85, a retired English teacher at Norwell High School, passed away peacefully from cancer with his family at his side on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Born April 6, 1935, he was raised in Brockton and graduated from Brockton High in 1953. He was the son of the late John J. Kowalski ( born in Poland) and the late Stasia (Sabina) Kowalski. He proudly served his country in the US Army from 1954-1956 in Fairbanks, Alaska. He graduated from Bridgewater State in 1967, was hired by the Town of Norwell and taught English for 28 years before retiring in 1995. He was a talented artist and had a love of the outdoors enjoying hiking, fishing, and canoeing. He was the devoted husband to his wife, Sandra (Funk) for 53 years . He was the loving father of Jeanine (Kowalski) Robbins and her husband Keith of Brockton, MA and John Kowalski of Plymouth and his wife Annie; grandfather of Brianne, Keely, Ava and Olivia Kowalski ,and Jennilee and Karlie Robbins; brother of Edward Kowalski of New Bedford, Alice Miller of Quincy and the late Helen Wisneski of California; Brother-in-law of Judy and Ross Kingston of Maine, Patty and Tom Batson of Carver, Sam and Valjean Funk of California, the late Frank Miller of Onset, the late Bonnie Kowalski of Yarmouthport. He was admired by his nieces and nephews. He also leaves his life-long friends Douglas and Yvonne Decosta of West Bridgewater.
Henry was a true Renaissance man. He learned the weaving trade while in high school. After entering the Army, he learned how to box and worked out in the gym religiously. He served with the 51st Ordnance Co. at Ladd Field in Fairbanks, Alaska for 2 years. He loved the experience and achieved the goal of cross-country skiing 100 miles across the frozen tundra. He was an excellent marksman and continued to compete long after he left the service. Henry was a devout Catholic and lived a faith-filled life. He applied for the priesthood after attending Newman Prep School and St. Philip Neri in Boston. Cardinal O’Connell Seminary was his home for two years. When unable to continue, he used his extensive schooling to become a teacher. In 1967, he began his career at Norwell High School teaching English and also coached tennis. Henry told his students to take a “Polish Field trip” through literature. He earned his Master’s degree and a BA in art education from Bridgewater. He was an accomplished artist throughout his life. He prided himself on having memorized hundreds of poems and songs. He said they represented meaningful events in his life. As a communicant of St. Bridget Church in Abington, he worked in the food pantry for several years. He belonged to area sportsmen's clubs. He loved being out in nature. In recent years, he made customized fishing rods, designed notecards depicting nature scenes and studied the Bible.
Services will be provided through Quealy & Son Funeral Home. 116 Adams Street Abington, MA 02351. Visitation Sunday March 14 from 4 to 7pm. All other services will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Old Colony Hospice 321 Manley St. West Bridgewater, MA 02379, Wildlands Trust 675 Long Pond Rd. Plymouth, MA, St Vincent de Paul Society 425 Plymouth St. Abington, MA or St Vincent de Paul Society 44 Blake St. Whitman , MA 02382.
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