Bob Kowalkowski dies at age 65
ALLEN PARK Bob Kowalkowski, an offensive lineman for the Lions from 1966-76, died on Thursday night at Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield after a short illness. He was 65.
Kowalkowski, who was a Lions starting guard through most of his 11 seasons in Detroit, kept close ties with the team and the community. His wife Judy, the Lions manager of accounting operations, has worked in the Lions front office since 1990. His son Scott was a linebacker and special teams standout for the Lions from 1994 through 2001.
The entire Kowalkowski family means a great deal to our organization, said Tom Lewand, president of the Lions. Obviously, the football side of their contributions is well known but, off the field, the family contributes enormously to the Lions and to our entire community. Bob was a special leader on the field and off.
Bob Kowalkowski founded the Kowalkowski Open golf tournament in 1973 with friends from the Gladwin Lions Club to support Leader Dogs for the Blind. His Bob Kowalkowski Scholarship Award helped enable students with financial needs and high academic achievements attend college. In 1991, the Kowalkowski Open grew into what is now known as Kolo Charities, which has helped raise thousands of dollars for a variety of charities in Michigan. Included among them is the Detroit Lions Courage House which benefits the child abuse prevention and treatment program at HAVEN in Oakland County.
Funeral arrangements for Kowalkowski are incomplete.