James Kowalick

James Kowalick

November 15, 1937 - December 27, 2023

Dear Friends,


James Kowalick, a beloved member of Apollo Center of the Fellowship of Friends, completed his task today at 3:24 p.m., of blood cancer, in Sacramento. He was with friends and his wife Kathleen at the hospital when he died.


Born on November 15, 1937, James turned 86 on his last birthday. He joined the school in Philadelphia in May 1978, then moved to southern California where he directed the Newport Beach center starting in 1984. James also served the school as a traveling teacher to many countries including China, Japan, and New Zealand. At Apollo, James served on the board of directors of several organizations. He will be remembered for his fine mind, his kindness, and his piano playing to brighten our Galleria events over the years.


On behalf of all who knew you, we thank thee.

In loving presence,  Elysian Society

Funeral Service Text:  James Kowalick 2024-01

True prayer is a gift of God; so also are attention and warm tenderness of heart.
– Theophan the Recluse

8 thoughts on “James Kowalick

  1. James, set an example of joy and presence, I am grateful for all he shared with us❤️

  2. When James first arrived at Apollo, it seemed like he had always been here, that he truly belonged here.

  3. My first memory of James is he was leading a meeting about 25 years ago at Apollo and he opened it up by saying, “The most important thing I will say tonight is don’t believe the I’s”. Thank you James!

  4. “When an elder passes a whole library goes with them”.
    An anonymous saying internationally held belief

    James gave more than he took in almost every octave he was involved with. He once offered to drive us around late one night after a meeting in NY city led by Joel. Unforgettable, and almost dangerous enterprise to step into an entirely different world yet again. Early in the school an older student said, “We have no duplicates here” certainly true in James’ life.

    “Look to this one day, for it and it alone is life.


  5. The lesson learned from dear James’ role was perseverance and appreciation of Masonic songs and music of a time long gone by before Iris was ever conceived; your anecdote of your exposure to Lois Armstrong’s playing as a boy, whom I have also revered – only in movies – as a young child.
    Due to this, a one-time collaboration of your playing and Iris’ singing came about once in a private home, and your patient play and endurance of my pitiful efforts to produce a singing sound in my home after the surgery had decayed my humble abilities altogether were so appreciated – an ultimate act of kindness … the Love he gave through his music.
    As this paragraph is written, the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow” is sounding from the recording of his playing posted here by June.
    Dear Kathleen, my sincere Love goes to you and your support you have given; Gratitude to all your efforts in all areas, not to mention Nicole and the kids.
    In silent remembrance,

  6. Thank you for all the beautiful moments you created for us – sharing your love of music.

  7. Dear James,
    From my visits to Apollo I clearly remember your sweet and friendly appearance, usually sitting behind the piano in the Galleria while you played beautiful music.
    Humble and devoted to our Teacher.
    Thank you for teaching me and us this attitude and the loving presence behind it.
    Love and condolences to your close friends and Kathleen, who will miss you dearly.
    With love and gratitude,

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