Sky Pilot Of The Great Lakes 

Author of "Sky Pilot Of The Great Lakes," John Kotzian, Writes About The Memorable True Story Of His Great-Great Grandfather, Reverend William H. Law and The Brave Men and Women Of The United Stated Lighthouse and Life-Saving Services.

Sky Pilot Of The Great Lakes

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Sky Pilot Of The Great Lakes

By John Kotzian 

Have you ever dreamed of visiting every Lighthouse and Life-Saving station on the Great Lakes? The Reverend William H. Law did just that and more in the early days of the twentieth century. Rescued by a U.S. Life-Saving Service crew on Lake Huron in 1900, Law dedicated his life’s work to serving the men and women stationed at Light and Life-Saving stations throughout the United States. 

Whether it was bringing his “Floating Library” to stations located on the Great Lakes, regular correspondence with the crews of stations far too remote for a personal visit, or his relentless pursuit of Congress to approve a bill to provide better pay and pensions, Reverend Law became a fast friend to those serving in the Lighthouse and Life-Saving services. 

"Sky Pilot" was sailors' slang for a chaplain. To the men and women he served, Reverend Law was lovingly known as “The Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes.” 


Review By Margaret Lukasik

Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes

By John Kotzian


Sky Pilot Of The Great Lakes is a biography written by John Kotzian that tells the story of his great-great-grandfather, the Reverend William H. Law. He was an itinerant preacher who made it his life's work to bring spiritual comfort, inspiration, books to pass the time, and good cheer to the men and women who manned the life-saving stations and lighthouses that dotted the Great Lakes. Although a man of modest means, he decided on his own to improve the lives of these people. He believed in what they did and desired to provide them with comfort where it was lacking due to the hardships they endured saving people in distress. Using only his talent for raising money from benefactors, Reverend Law managed to obtain the funds needed to tend to his unsung heroes. He continued his service to this cause for over forty years.

The book is so well written that it holds the reader's attention on every page, chronicling Reverend Law's life from his meager beginnings through the long years of helping the life-savers and championing for them to receive raises in pay and retirement pensions for their hard and dangerous work. Each chapter is full of colorful stories of exploits of the Reverend in his various quests as well as heartfelt words of encouragement written by him. Even when the Reverend Law was at times challenged by life, he was almost always a man full of good cheer and benevolence.

Sky Pilot Of The Great Lakes takes the reader back in time to over one hundred years to see what life was like without the conveniences we take for granted today. It was a time when a trip across one of the Great Lakes was a life threatening experience and a distance of a few miles traveled could mean the difference between life or death. Many people would have died if not for the selfless bravery of the people who lived in abject misery and loneliness just to be available to save lives when necessary.

Author John Kotzian makes it clear that this is a book about those heroes who were mostly unknown and would have remained unknown if it were not for the efforts of Reverend Law who wrote about these brave men and women with admiration and love. With his life he proved that one man with a cause can make a difference and by believing in the goodness of his fellow man he could grow a ministry of care and compassion where none existed before. He demonstrated that loving kindness and good cheer can win hearts to Christ as much as preaching can. As Reverend Law said himself, "there are many kinds of ministers, I want to be a minister who is a jolly good fellow and a comrade to all I meet."

John Kotzian has generously brought his great-great-grandfather to life for us. Through him there is much to learn about humility, bravery and the human spirit. He was a man who lived before our time, but, in many ways, it was just like our time. The following poem by the Reverend sums up his ministry eloquently;

The hand that helps is better by far than lips that pray.

Love is the ever gleaming star that leads the way,

That shines not on vague words of bliss

But makes a paradise in this.


I highly recommend Sky Pilot Of The Great Lakes for readers of every genre. It has elements that touch every spectrum of life and gives one the encouragement that we all have a life purpose and we can live it no matter how difficult it may seem. I also recommend this book to every man or woman who is a leader in Christian service. And if you love lighthouses like I do, there is also the bonus of the Great Lakes Maritime History that might make you feel pretty cold at times, but will warm your heart with the bravery of the men and women who risked their lives for others!


About The Author ...

John Kotzian

John Kotzian was born in Rogers City, Michigan located on the shore of Lake Huron and raised some 30 miles away in Hillman, Michigan. He is the great-great grandson of the "Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes", Reverend William H. Law.

His passion for the Great Lakes and its history grew from the maritime stories handed down through both sides of his family. Stories about Reverend Law's travels and about relatives lost in the sinking of the S.S. Carl D. Bradley. 

John currently resides with his wife Kimberly in Brooklyn, MI. John can be contacted through his website at www.johnkotzian.com.

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Book Genre:  Non-Fiction / Historical


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 Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes Paperback Information


Paperback Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Avery Color Studios; First Edition edition (April 24, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892384698
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892384690
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces