Dr. Norman Kowal, PhD MD

dr. norman kowal, phd md

September 3, 1937 ~ September 13, 2021

Born in: Adams, MA
Resided in: Black Mountain , NC

Dr. Norman Kowal, PhD MD, died September 13, 2021 of Covid-19 after 84 years of living, learning, loving, and being loved. His parents, Jean & Edward Kowal, raised him and brother Robert to be curious and hungry for knowledge. Although he outlived them all, he honored their memories by learning and growing to the very end. His most precious legacy is inspiring that love of learning in 2 more generations.

Norman worked on his PhD in Plant Ecology while in the Peace Corps in the Philippines with his first wife and mother of his 3 children, Katherine. Once home, they began their family with daughter Marya, son Jan Edward (Cheseree), and Christopher (Kisa). He proceeded to earn his medical degree, and used it as a Medical Research Officer at the USEPA.

Once retired, he moved to Black Mountain to garden, sing at UUCSV, learn 3 more instruments, write a book about roadside flora and geography called Interstate Landscapes (free at normankowal.com), care for his brother, and spend time with family and friends.

Those who loved him knew him as honest, caring, funny, goofy, brave, socially awkward, and always present when you needed him. Norm loved to teach us all what he’d learned: Which leaves were edible on any hike, physiology lessons with a stick and roadkill, and how to follow him in a dance/clog/shuffle with any good tune. He waxed poetic about monster movies and daylilies, and collected terrible “Dad jokes” to share.

Norman Edward Kowal will live on in the love and stories he leaves behind; through his children and grandchildren (Cheseree, Isarae, Zachariah, Cricket, and Chlöe), and many friends.

He would be the first to tell you that life is good, so be good to each other.

A memorial service will be held at a later, safer date, and donations can be made in his name to the National Parks Foundation or UNICEF with the e-card from your gift sent to Marya.Kowal@gmail.com so the family can save them for the memorial.


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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Memories Timeline


  1. I worked at the EPA in Cincinnati when Norm was there. I remember his tremendous kindness and gentle sense of humor. Thank you, Norm, for having such a kind friend.

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