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Father of Milwaukee native killed in Sri Lanka bombings speaks

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The U.S. State Department says at least four Americans were killed in Sunday’s Sri Lanka bombings.

One of them was 40-year-old Dieter Kowalski, a Wisconsin-native.

CBS 58’s Tori Bokios talked to Kowalski’s parents Monday.

“He was only 40-years-old and you never expect that you would outlive your son, so it's kind of sad having to,” Marvin Kowalski, Dieter’s father, said. “I always thought I'd go first, but it didn't happen that way.”

Dieter’s parents say their son was in Sri Lanka for business.

He had just arrived at his hotel in Colombo and was in line for breakfast when there was an explosion and Dieter was killed.

Dieter had been living in Denver working for Pearson, an education company.

He graduated from Riverside University High School in Milwaukee where he played tennis.

His coach says he helped them become conference champs in 1996 and that he was a great student who took several AP classes.

“It was his doggedness and just intuitiveness that he used in everything he did,” Suzanne Cornell, Retired Riverside University Tennis Coach, said.

After graduating from Riverside, Dieter headed to UW Madison where he studied International Relations and German.

Dieter’s father describes his son as outgoing and very friendly. They are now trying to get Dieter home.

“For all we know there could be nothing left of him. We don’t know,” Marvin Kowalski said.

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