GREENFIELD, Wis. (WFRV) — A Wisconsin native has been confirmed dead following Sunday’s attacks in Sri Lanka.
Dieter Kowalski was on a business trip as an employee of Pearson and had just arrived at his hotel at the time of the attacks. Kowalski was living in Denver but grew up in the Milwaukee area. He graduated from Riverside High School in 1997 and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001.
Hours before the attack, Kowalski posted on Facebook saying how excited he was to be coing to the country for another work trip. His mother had also visited in Denver last week and discussed plans for the summer.
John Fallon, the CEO of Pearson, released a statement on Kowalski’s passing:
Colleagues who knew Dieter well talk about how much fun he was to be around, how big-hearted and full-spirited he was. They tell of a man to whom we could give our ugliest and most challenging of engineering problems, knowing full well that he would jump straight in and help us figure it out. “
Meanwhile, Kowalski’s parents are now hoping to have his remains returned home. “He was only 40 years old and you never expect that you would outlive your son so it’s kind of sad,” sayd Marvin, Dieter’s father, “I always thought I’d go first, but it didn’t happen that way.”
Kowalski was one of four Americans killed in Sunday’s Sri Lanka attacks.