John E. Cowan born October 1, 1934 found peace and rest on September 20, 2018 when he died in the arms of his loving wife Patricia T. Cowan (nee Geier). John was the eldest of nine children. Family legend has it that his romance with Pat began on a teeter totter at a Michigan State University Newman Center picnic. John married Pat on September 22, 1956. John will be remembered by his true love and their four children, Edward P. Cowan (Nancy – nee Hall), Diane F. Cowan, Robert M. Cowan (Kimberly), and Jeanette M. Ward; six grandchildren, Jonathan Hall, Scott and Bryan Cowan, Stephanie Cowan, Monica Poulsen (nee Ward) and Veronica Ward; and great-grandson, Gryffin Poulsen.
The children were born in Michigan and Ohio before John and Pat moved east to raise them in New City, NY from 1968-1998. John worked as a business executive at American Cyanamid in Pearl River, NY, and then Wayne, NJ where he was promoted to Operations Manager for Europe, Mid-east, Africa, and Asia. The Cowans retired to Wilmington, NC where John helped fledge many local family-owned businesses as a SCORE volunteer. John also remained active in the Cyanamid retirement community writing newsletters, attending meetings and events, and traveling with colleagues he met from all over the globe. John will be missed by many around the world.
Outside of business, John was an avid photographer, supportive father, theatre enthusiast and reluctant outdoorsman. Ed recalls the day his father made his greatest catch on Lake Victoria, battling through the weeds to land the massive fish. Ed enjoyed having his Dad join him in participating in a day of fishing and he was proud to be with his Dad when he caught his biggest fish. His daughter Diane recalls a photography course they took together and many hours spent in the Cyanamid darkroom watching the magic of chemicals making photos come to life. Bob remembers good times with his Dad doing projects for cub scouts, boy scouts and walking around Lake Victoria. One extra special memory was a photography trip to South Street Seaport and doing Cibachrome developing and printing of the pictures from that trip. Jeanette fondly credits her father for her love of theater. She especially appreciated John taking her to see Shenandoah twice, once as a child and once as an adult because he knew how much she loved it. John also loved good food and enjoyed treating his friends and family to Bully Boy in Congers, NY, the Freelance Cafe in Piermont, NY, and Catch in Wilmington, NC.
A funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday, September 25 at 10 am at St. Cecilia, Monmouth Junction, NJ. In deep sorrow, the family of John E. Cowan ask that you hold his memory dear in your hearts.
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