Mary Anne Kowalski, our beloved sister, passed away suddenly on Thursday, May 13, 2021, in her home in Romulus, New York. She was born on August 18, 1946 in Denver, Colorado to the late Rose O’Meara and Thaddeus Kowalski.
Mary Anne was raised in Colonie, New York. She graduated from Notre Dame High School in Schenectady, New York and The College of Mount Saint Vincent in Bronx, New York. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in English, Mary Anne had a distinguished career in New York State regulatory agencies. She was responsible for regulatory development, freedom of information act compliance, and public and media relations for the New York State Health Department (DOH), Public Health Laboratory (Wadsworth), which provides clinical and environmental testing for the DOH and local health agencies. Her regulatory responsibilities included both clinical and environmental laboratories.
After retiring in 2001, Mary Anne became active in numerous environmental advocacy organizations. She was appointed by the New York State Board of Regents in 2005 to represent the Public on the Board which sets standards for clinical laboratory technology practitioners. Mary Anne continued to serve as a member of this board until her death. She offered her expertise and input to help develop Mount Saint Vincent’s soon-to-be proposed B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Sciences. In addition, Mary Anne held a number of volunteer positions including President of the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association; Treasurer and Research Director of the Seneca Lake Guardian; Interim Administrator of the Seneca County Water and Sewer District; and Vice President of the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society. On the day before her death, Mary Anne had been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency.
Mary Anne was a fierce advocate for animal welfare and protection. She assisted law enforcement agencies with the closure of numerous puppy mills.
Mary Anne is survived by her siblings Michael (Vicky) of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Katherine Kowalski of Colonie, New York, Joseph Kowalski (Robin) of Voorheesville, New York, Margaret Ferro (Paul) of Colonie, New York, Claire Gerace of Saratoga, New York, and Loretto Kowalski of East Greenbush. Her sister, Ellen Kowalski predeceased her on December 27, 2020. Nine nieces and nephews also survive.
Mary Anne also leaves behind her two beloved Schnauzers, Felix and Daisy in the care of her friend Patricia Bogart of Schenectady, New York.
We wish to thank her neighbors and friends in Romulus, New York for their support in this difficult time.
Calling hours will be held at the Cannon Funeral Home, 2020 Central Avenue, Colonie on Thursday, May 20, 2021 from 4 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 6 p.m. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed.
A Memorial Service will also be held for Mary Anne on August 18, 2021 in Romulus, NY.
Memorial contributions in Mary Anne’s memory may be made to: Food for all-Lodi Food Pantry, 8909 Keady Road, Lodi, New York 14860 or to the New York State Humane Association, PO Box 3068, Kingston, New York 12402.
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