Richard Steven Kowalski, Jr., 72, of Niagara Falls, NY, passed into the loving arms of Jesus, while in the presence of his family, on December 27, 2020 at Niagara Hospice House. Born on August 28, 1948 in Albany, NY, he was the son of the late Richard Steven Kowalski, Sr. and the late Helen (Pigeon) Kowalski. On September 13, 2008, Steve, as he was known to family and friends, married Mary Ann Milleville Antonelli at St. James Lutheran Church in Bergholz.
Steve attended schools in both Albany and locally. In 1967, he graduated from Kenmore East High School. Steve proudly served in the United States Navy, during the Vietnam War, from 1967 until his honorable discharge in 1973. He was a member of the American Legion. He began working for Ancor Plastics and concurrently attended the University at Buffalo. Steve retired as a Technical Specialist from Ancor in 2015.
Steve and his family were parishioners of St. James Lutheran Church. He was the founder and original leader of ‘Stephen Ministries’ at the church and also served as an elder. Steve enjoyed hunting, instructing the hunters safety course, wine tasting and wine making. Steve, battled cancer and was the first American to be involved in one of the clinical trials from France for metastatic Pancreatic Cancer at Roswell Park Cancer Center.
In addition to his beloved wife, Mary Ann, Steve is survived by daughters, Emily and Brenda Kowalski; step-children, Kerry (Andro) Kitus, David (Elizabeth) Antonelli and Michelle (Joshua) Merritt; grandchildren, Alek, Avery, Emma, Chloe, Jack and Carter; sisters, Marilyn and Cathy; brothers and sister-in-laws, Kathy (John), John, Lee (Maureen), David (Jane) and Timothy (Donna) and many nieces, and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by sisters, Virginia and Elizabeth.
The family will be present on Wednesday from 2-8 p.m. at the OTTO REDANZ FUNERAL HOME, 2215 Military Road, Niagara Falls, NY (716-297-9007). Steve’s funeral service will be celebrated on Thursday, December 31st at 11:00 a.m. at St. James Lutheran Church in Bergholz, with Rev. Randy Kaminska officiating. Prayers of committal and interment, concluding with Military Honors, will follow in St. James Lutheran Church Cemetery. Family and friends invited. Masks and social distancing will be required for your safety at all times. Thank you for your support and understanding. In lieu of flowers, memorial offerings may be made to St. James Lutheran Church Endowment Fund, Roswell Park Alliance Foundation or Niagara Hospice. Professional arrangements are under the care of Michael R. Goodlander. Share condolences and memories and view his tribute video at facebook.com/goodlandercares and GOODLANDERCARES.com
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St. James Lutheran Church
2437 Niagara Road, Niagara Falls NY 14304
Roswell Park Alliance Foundation
P.O. Box 631, Buffalo NY 14240
4675 Sunset Drive, Lockport NY 14094