STAR SPOTLIGHT: Z.W. “Ski” Kowalewski

Friday, March 31, 2017 - 11:37
  • Z.W. “Ski” Kowaleski signing books at the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center Feb. 25. (Star photo by Kirsten Swann)

Chugiak resident Z.W. “Ski” Kowalewski is many things — a World War II veteran, a pilot and now, at 96, an author.

On a recent sunny Saturday afternoon, he sat behind a table in the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center lobby, signing copies of his military memoir, “A Sailor’s Life in World War II.” The slim paperback volume recounts Kowalewski’s 20-year career with the U.S. Navy; it includes stories from the air, the sea and places in between.

“Some of them are even true,” he said, laughing.

Following two decades with the Navy, Kowalewski came to Alaska in 1967, working as a flight inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration. He moved in to the senior center in Chugiak several years ago, he said, and his book was published in 2016. It’s available via, and the senior center’s main office.

Now, Kowaleski said, he plans on holding regular book signings every month or so. Proceeds from every $10 sale of the book will go to the senior center’s Good Samaritan Fund, a resource for residents in need. It’s a good cause and the right thing to do, he said.

“That’s the way the Navy does it.”

Email reporter Kirsten Swann at [email protected]

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