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Kowalski’s Co-Owner Tragically Died In Plane Accident

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Jim Kowalski died Thursday in an accident involving a plane while fishing in Canada, according to family member Deb Kowalski. The plane did not crash.

Deb Kowalski said Jim suffered a head injury in the unspecified incident in Red Lake, Ontario, and an autopsy is being performed. She said he was with a friend on the trip.

Jim Kowalski, 67, founded Kowalski’s Markets back in 1983. He and his wife, Mary Anne, co-owned what is now nine stores that employ nearly 1,200 people.

According to the company website, Jim and Mary Anne Kowalski have both received the highest honors in the industry; Jim as Minnesota Grocer of the Year and Mary Anne as the National Grocers Association Woman of the Year.

Just this week, staffers said stores were preparing for a celebration marking 30 years in business.

St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman shared his condolences, too.

“Jim left a lasting legacy in St. Paul and across the metro area. His passing is tragic and my heart goes out to his family.”

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