John Kowansky

Obituary of John Kowansky

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John Kowansky, of Clinton New York, passed away peacefully on his 96th birthday, May 27, 2024.

John was born in Watervliet, New York on May 27, 1928, the son of the late John and Helen (Mazula) Kowansky.

John enjoyed music his entire life. His college was funded by the money he made throughout his youth playing accordion in a polka band. Thanks to many gigs in bars and at weddings, he graduated from Siena College with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1949. After a series of odd jobs and a brief hitchhiking stint across the country, he continued his education, receiving a degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1954. John went on to work as a mechanical engineer for General Electric for 34 years.

John loved to tell stories, his favorite being how he met Helen Dook, the “girl of his dreams” and his wife of 66 years. He said he knew Helen was the one the first time he saw her at the top of the church steps. John and Helen were married in 1957, and they shared a beautiful life together, traveling the world and raising two daughters, Elaine and Ann. John was incredibly bright, active, and had a great love for life. He took pride in his garden, could often be found building and fixing things, wrote many poems for his wife and daughters, hardly ever left any food on his dinner plate, and was always able to find the best deals while grocery shopping. He kept close tabs on his grandkids and made sure to stay up to date on their accomplishments and adventures.

A major theme of John’s life was his faith and love of his church. Involved in all church matters, he served as president and made many lifelong friends.

He will be dearly missed by his two daughters and sons-in-law, Elaine Kowansky and Ram Josyula of Clinton and Longboat Key, Florida and Ann and Joe Gale of Clinton; his beloved grandchildren, Alexandra Gale, Louisa Gale, Audrey Gale, Charlotte Gale, Gabriel Josyula, and Mariam Josyula; his sister Ruthie Zabinski, sister-in-law Dottie Dook; and his very special nieces and nephews, Michael Dook, Susan George, Sandra Berry, Paul Zabinski, and Tom Zabinski. John is now reunited with his wife Helen, who he had sorely missed since her passing last year.

John’s family sends a heartfelt thank you to all of the caregivers who took such wonderful care of John and Helen and allowed them to remain in their home.

All are invited to calling hours on Friday, June 7, 2024 from 5-7pm with a memorial service at 6:45pm at Owens-Pavlot and Rogers Funeral Service at 35 College St. in Clinton. The funeral will be held at 10am on Saturday, June 8 at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church at 305 Main Road in Herkimer. John will be buried at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Cemetery in Herkimer. Please consider making a donation in John’s memory to Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church for the repair of the bell tower.


Calling Hours

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, June 7, 2024
Owens-Pavlot & Rogers Funeral Service
35 College Street
Clinton, New York, United States
(315) 853-5746

Funeral Service

10:00 am
Saturday, June 8, 2024
St. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church
305 Main Rd.
Herkimer, New York, United States
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John Kowansky

In Loving Memory

John Kowansky

1928 - 2024

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