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James H Kovalsky

April 14, 1948 September 1, 2019
James H Kovalsky
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Obituary for James H Kovalsky

James Howard Kovalsky

Ewing Township - James H. Kovalsky (Coach K/Mr. K) passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 1, 2019 at his home with his wife and good friends by his side. He was 71.

Born on April 14, 1948 to Gus and Viva Kovalsky, he grew up in Washington, NJ. He graduated from Washington High School in 1966 and Glassboro State College in 1970, majoring in elementary education. Jim and his wife Eileen (Lovenduski) celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on July 8th. Jimmy always said, meeting Eileen was the best thing that ever happened to him, calling her Eileen the Good! He enjoyed getting to know the Lovenduski family saying that he needed a scorecard to keep everyone straight!

In high school he was a three sport athlete earning two letters in basketball, and four in both football and baseball. On the field few matched his accomplishments in football and baseball. The Newark News (Star Ledger) selected him as the First Team Group II All State Quarterback in 1965 and the First Team Group II All Groups Catcher in 1966. He was voted Most Valuable Athlete in his class. In 1966 he was drafted by the Pittsburg Pirates scout, Bill Weaver and he was named the CO-MVP of the Mercer County American Legion League.

In college he continued to play both football and baseball, lettering three years in football and four years in baseball. He still holds the schools kickoff return record, a 99 yard return against Southern Connecticut. In 1970 he was a tri-captain of the baseball team and the First Team All-NJAC catcher. That same year Frank O’Rourke scouted Jim as a free agent draft pick for the New York Yankees. After graduating college Jimmy served six months active duty with the United States Army.

Jim started his teaching and coaching career at Antheil Junior High in Ewing, NJ. He was a reading teacher and the last coach of the Antheil Hawks baseball team. He continued his Ewing teaching career at Fisher Junior High and Fisher Middle School. Mr. K loved teaching the junior high and middle school students. He made a big impact on many lives especially the young men he coached. Many of his students and athletes became lifelong friends and several got to coach with him and against him. During the 1998-99 school year, Jim was named the Teacher of the Year for Fisher in the NJ State Governor’s Teacher Recognition Program. In 1999 he was awarded the Fisher Junior High Golden Apple Award for enthusiasm, attitude and loyalty. He taught for the Ewing Township School District for thirty four years, retiring in 2004. In 2002 Jim became a member of the Washington/Warren Hills Wall of Fame. In 2006 he became a member of the Ewing High School Hall of Fame. In 2017 he received the “Nick Gusz” Good Guy Award from the Delaware Valley Chapter National Football Foundation.

He loved coaching and was the freshman football coach for eighteen years, and the Ewing High JV baseball coach for twenty three years. As head coach he continued Ewing’s winning tradition in baseball, as his teams qualified for the State Tournament in all but two seasons. He finished his coaching career with five straight winning seasons. From 1990 to 2003 he was the Blue Devil’s assistant head football coach in charge of the offense and quarterbacks.

Coach K volunteered as a Babe Ruth coach, manager for both J&L Texaco and Larkin’s Gulf teams. He was manager of the year in 1979 and in 2000 he was awarded the Babe Ruth “Karl Harder” Award for Outstanding Dedication to Youth Activities.

Jim always enjoyed watching sports, but once retired a perfect weekend was attending a high school game on Friday night, another on Saturday afternoon and going to a college game on Saturday night! He loved driving whether a local ride, or going cross country. He was an avid reader of nonfiction and enjoyed WWII History. Jimmy had so many friends because no one was more fun to be with, and no one enjoyed his friends more than he did. He always enjoyed a good time.

He is predeceased by his parents Gus and Viva Kovalsky. He is survived by: his wife Eileen; his sister Janie Smickle; his nieces Laurie Smickle and husband Eric Comunale, Elaine and Mike Ryno; two grandnieces Ella and Brielle Ryno; along with several cousins.

The funeral will be held at 11am on Tuesday September 10th at the Princeton Community Church, 2300 Pennington Road, Pennington 08534. Friends may call at the Church on Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. and again Tuesday morning from 9 to 11 a.m. Burial will take place in Harbourton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Jim’s name to Multiple Myeloma Program, Dr. Sundar Jagannath, 1470 Madison Ave., 6th Floor, NY, NY 10029.

Arrangements are under the direction of Timothy F. Reeg, Funeral Director, Pennington. www.timreeg.com


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Previous Events

Visitation

Monday

9

Sep

2:00 PM 9/9/2019 2:00:00 PM - 4:00 PM 9/9/2019 4:00:00 PM
Princeton Community Church

2300 Pennington Road
Pennington, NJ 08534

Princeton Community Church
2300 Pennington Road Pennington 08534 NJ
United States

Visitation

Monday

9

Sep

6:00 PM 9/9/2019 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 9/9/2019 8:00:00 PM
Princeton Community Church

2300 Pennington Road
Pennington, NJ 08534

Princeton Community Church
2300 Pennington Road Pennington 08534 NJ
United States

Visitation

Tuesday

10

Sep

9:00 AM 9/10/2019 9:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 9/10/2019 11:00:00 AM
Princeton Community Church

2300 Pennington Road
Pennington, NJ 08534

Princeton Community Church
2300 Pennington Road Pennington 08534 NJ
United States

Service

Tuesday

10

Sep

11:00 AM 9/10/2019 11:00:00 AM
Princeton Community Church

2300 Pennington Road
Pennington, NJ 08534

Princeton Community Church
2300 Pennington Road Pennington 08534 NJ
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Harbourton Cemetery Final Resting Place

Trenton-Harbourton Road
Hopewell Township, nj 08534

Trenton-Harbourton Road Hopewell Township 08534 nj
United States
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