Friday, May 07, 2004

Obituary: Charles "Chuck" Kowing - Class of 1936

ROCKFORD, ILL. - Charles "Chuck" Kowing, age 86, of Rockford, Ill., died on Tuesday, May 4, 2004, at Rockford Memorial Hospital. He was born on Sept. 8, 1917, in Madison, to his parents, Rose Esther (O'Brien) and Frank P. Kowing. He graduated from Madison Central High School in 1936. He began an apprenticeship in carpentry with J.H. Findorff and Company where he did millwork for Frank Lloyd Wright during the late 1930s and early 1940s. He was married on Nov. 20, 1940, to Shirley Oler Kowing, his wife of 54 years. He lived 46 years in Rockford, coming from Madison. He was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps. He received basic training in Missouri and flight training at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. He served in World War II in Algeria, North Africa. He was a self employed carpenter and painter of Trussoni and Kowing Construction Company from 1960 until 1974. He was volunteer fireman of the North West Fire Protection from 1963 until 1997, during which time he became president of the board of trustees. After retiring, he worked with his late wife at the Loft Antique Shop. On Jan. 1, 1997, Charles remarried Mary (Rubey) Kowing in Chicago, Ill. He was also a member of Forest City Woodcrafters and for the last years of his life, he and Mary were a host family to foreign exchange students. He was a host father through the American Field Service to Kwabena "Murphy" Ofori of Ghana, Rodrigo Paz of Bolivia, Ryo Yasue of Japan, and Jose Zapata of Peru. He was also a member of St. Chad's Episcopal Church. Survivors include his wife, Mary Kowing; brothers, Gordon (Carol) Kowing of Madison, and Loren (Janet) Kowing of Madison; several nieces; nephews; and many dear friends. He was predeceased by his former wife, Shirley Kowing; brothers, Dallas, Warren and Richard; and a sister, Lorraine. A funeral service for Charles will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 8, 2004, at EMMANUEL EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 412 N. Church St., Rockford, Ill., with the Rev. KyungJa Oh officiating. Burial will be at Willwood Burial Park. A visitation will be held at the FITZGERALD FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY, 3910 N. Rockton Ave., Rockford, Ill., on Friday, May 7, 2004, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to St. Chad's Episcopal Church, or Keith Country Day School in honor of the Kowings' children.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on May 7, 2004

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