Ocean Beach 05


Robert (Mr. K) Kowalewski

November 2, 1942 ~ August 15, 2018 (age 75)

Robert “Mr. K” Kowalewski, of Grand Rapids, MI.  Loving husband, father, grandfather and uncle passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.  He was 75 years old.

Robert, the son of the late William and Helen (Salega) Kowalewski, was born in Detroit, MI on November 2, 1942.  He graduated from Cody High School class of 1960.

He married Carol Linda Ericson, his loving wife of 54 years on April 4, 1964.  She survives him.  Also surviving are his son Robert and Julie of East Grand Rapids; three grandchildren, Robby, Will and Jillian.  

Robert will be remembered for his generous, loving heart and devotion to his family and lifelong friends.  He was always willing to lend a hand, care for and mentor  others.  Bob was a gracious host and he enjoyed gathering and celebrating with family and friends.  His exuberance and love for life will never be forgotten. 

Robert enjoyed a long and successful career in the restaurant business; he was one of the original restaurateurs  in Grand Rapids.  He opened his first Mr. Steak restaurant with business partner and brother-in-law Howard Schelde in 1968. They went on to own and operate multiple restaurants in Michigan, some of them included;  Mr. Steak  Restaurants,  Schelde’s Grille and Spirits, Rio Grand Steakhouses, Jose Babushka’s, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Wyoming Cattle Company, Mesquite Willies, Freshwater Lodge, TraVino Traverse Wine & Grille, Bowers Harbor Inn & The Bowery, The Wanigan, Auntie Pasta’s, The Cove, and Bonfire Bistro & Brewery.

Robert was very active in the community and was a founding member of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids.  He was a proud member and supporter of the East Grand Rapids Community, Schools and Athletics.  He was an avid golfer at Egypt Valley Country Club for many years.  He also enjoyed hunting, skiing, travelling and spending time on Lake Michigan.  Most of all, Robert enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and cheering on his grandchildren at their sporting events.  

Robert is also survived by his cousin Denise Kowalewski  Tucker (Wes), brothers-in-laws and sisters-in-laws: Robert Ericson, Howard and Maryanne Schelde, Thomas and Jordeen Ericson, William and Gail Ericson, Stephen and Kathleen Ericson, Deborah Ericson, along with many nephews and nieces.

The family will receive friends at the Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 21.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 22 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 2750 Burton St. SE, with his Pastor, Father Peter Damian celebrant, with visitation beginning one hour prior to the mass at church.

“Mr. K” was a dedicated member of the East Grand Rapids Community for more than 40 years.  He had a passion for the children of the community and all that they are involved in.  He would be honored to have memorial donations made to the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation, 2915 Hall St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI  49506.  egrsf@egrps.org.


Donations may be made to:

East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation
2915 Hall Street SE, East Grand Rapids, MI MI 49506
Web: http://egrsf.org

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