John E. "Jack" deKowzan, a prosecutor, World War II veteran and decorated Army reservist who retired as a colonel, died Wednesday of ischemic cardiomyopathy at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He was 79.
A Baltimore native and 1941 graduate of Southern High School, Mr. deKowzan enlisted in the Army in 1942 and was later sent to the Philippines, where he served as a tank commander and rose to the rank of captain.
Although he left active duty after the war, Mr. deKowzan remained in the military reserves, retiring in the early 1980s.
The military remained a passion of his throughout his life, his family said, even as he graduated from what was Mount Vernon School of Law -- now University of Baltimore School of Law -- in 1958 and began working as a prosecutor.
He served in the Baltimore City state's attorney's office, where he worked as adviser to the grand jury and as a legislative liaison, and later in the Prince George's County state's attorney's office, where he served as principal assistant state's attorney.
In between, his family said, he worked for the statewide prosecutors association as prosecutor training coordinator.
After retiring from Prince George's County in 1982, Mr. deKowzan and his wife of 55 years, the former Teresa Lavin, enjoyed traveling.
Mr. deKowzan and his wife, a registered nurse who served in the Army Nurse Corps during the war, married in 1947.
"It was God, family and nation to Jack," Mrs. deKowzan said. "That describes him to a T."
His military decorations included the Legion of Merit, said his oldest son, Paul deKowzan of Timonium. "He juggled the jobs and the military while raising five kids," he said.
The deKowzans, who lived in Baltimore and Prince George's County throughout Mr. deKowzan's career, moved to Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville about four years ago.
Mr. deKowzan was also involved in the Roman Catholic Church and in military organizations, his wife said. He also met monthly with members of the Southern High School Class of 1941, his son said.
A Mass of Christian burial was held Saturday at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in Catonsville. Mr. deKowzan will be interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, his family said.
In addition to his wife and son, Mr. deKowzan is survived by a son, John E. deKowzan Jr. of New Carrollton; three daughters, Mary E. Davidson of Baltimore, Teresa A. King of Arbutus and Jacqueline L. Forrester of Randallstown; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandson.