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It was a bit confusing when they would page “Walter Kozlowski” on the PA system at the school where the “other” Walter Kozlowski and I work. It is even more puzzling that the two of us bearing the same, not-so-common name could grow up and live much of our lives less than a mile from each and never have our paths cross.

The “other” Walter Kozlowski was a few years older than me and attended a different school, so that might be why did not meet until after our former parishes became part of Divine Redeemer Church in 1995. I didn’t get to know him that well, but you didn’t have to know him well to know what kind of person he was.

People’s reactions to news of Walter’s death last week are testimony to his compassion, his faith, his generosity and his countless kindnesses. The response was the same whether you talked to his fellow parishioners, the people at the school where he worked part-time after retiring from the state Department of the Treasury, his neighbors in Atlas, his many friends and, especially, from his family.

Walter Kozlowski’s obituary cited a few of the many reasons why he was such a beloved figure wherever he went. He served as a caregiver for his brother, William, for his mother, Mary, and then for his sister, Janice. His smile and compassion were there to light the way for them on their final journey from this brief life to life eternal.

His love for family and friends flowed up from the wellspring of his love for God. His love of his church led him to do all that he could for it. “No matter how busy or tired he was, he always had time for anyone who needed it,” stated his obituary.

So, at his passing, I’m the “other” Walter Kozlowski. I pray that I can live up to Walter F. Kozlowski’s example of faith, family love and selfless service as did. I pray that you also can follow his example.

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What we do for God and others, we do for love.

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