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Autopsy Reveals Lions Beat Writer Tom Kowalski Had Heart Disease

An autopsy has confirmed that veteran Detroit Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski died of an underlying heart disease:

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An autopsy found that Tom Kowalski, a veteran sportswriter for Booth Newspapers and MLive.com, died from acute congestive heart failure caused by hypertensive and arterioscleratic cardiovascular disease.

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A public memorial will take place in downtown Detroit on Friday at Cheli's Chilli Bar, which is owned by former Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios. Friends, fans and family are all invited to stop by the bar, which is located right across the street from Comerica Park:

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"We're planning a Bud Light toast and then a barbeque of hamburgers and hot dogs, just what Tom would have wanted," said Matt Riley, a close friend of Kowalski who is helping organize the event. "Any people who want to come by can, and it will be casual, so you can show up in shorts and a t-shirt."

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A private service will be held on Saturday.

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Kowalski's death sent shockwaves through the entire Lions fanbase, from the Lions front office to his loyal readers. Kowalski had covered the Lions beat for over 30 years at various Michigan news institutions, including Booth Newspapers since 1997. He was affectionately known as "Killer" by his fans and friends after former pro wrestler Killer Kowalski.

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