Bruce Richardson Kowalski

Kowalski Enlarge photo


Hesperus resident Bruce R. Kowalski died from a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at his home. He was 70.

Mr. Kowalski was born to Richard and Eleanor Kowalski on March 7, 1942, in Chicago.

He earned his undergraduate degree at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., before going on to earn his doctorate at the University of Washington.

He was a professor of chemistry at the University of Washington before his retirement. An analytical chemist, Mr. Kowalski was a founder of the field of chemometrics, the science of extracting information with data, particularly numerous measurements made on numerous samples. He was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

As an educator, he touched the lives of many of his colleagues and students, his family said.

On June 28, 1974, he married Sandy Togerson in Seattle.

After he retired, the Kowalskis moved to Hesperus in 1999. Mr. Kowalski joined the Fort Lewis Mesa Fire Protection District, where his specialty was handling hazardous materials.

Bob and his beloved companion, Chaco-Bob, were involved with canine search and rescue, his family said. A loving husband and dad, a generous and humorous friend, Bruce was an explorer in everything he undertook.

His work with Fort Lewis Mesa Fire, Durango Fire & Rescue Authority and canine search and rescue was among his proudest accomplishments, his family said.

Mr. Kowalski is survived by his wife of 38 years, Sandy Kowalski of Hesperus; daughter, Jennifer Kowalski of Hesperus; son, Gregory Kowalski of New York City; brother, Craig Kowalski of Hong Kong; sister, Cindy Bluhm of Seattle; and numerous nieces and nephews.

At his request, no formal service will be held.

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