Ralph "Rudy" Rudolph Cowan
July 11, 1929 – April 1, 2019
On April 1, 2019 Ralph Rudolph Cowan (Rudy), loving husband of Barbara and father of three passed away at age 89 in Groveland, Florida.
Rudy was born on July 11, 1929 in Anderson County, South Carolina to Jim and Irene (Sassard) Cowan. His upbringing in the country taught him and his siblings Harold, Preston and Lib to love the land, and he was known for his gardens and fruit trees throughout his life.
He married Barbara Bolick in 1949 and they spent 62 years together until her passing in 2012. Rudy is survived by his children Barbara Dianne Milford and Karen Rebecca Garey of Groveland, FL and David Scott Cowan and wife Carol of Sanford, FL. He was also blessed with 5 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
He joined the Army in 1948 as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. He subsequently joined the 44th Engineer Construction Battalion, proudly serving during the Korean conflict. After his honorable discharge, Rudy continued operating heavy construction equipment, joining the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 37 in Baltimore, Maryland.
He was part of several major construction projects in the Baltimore area, including the first Harbor Tunnel and the World Trade Center. During the 1960’s, he worked at Bethlehem Steel’s Sparrows Point location, then the world’s largest steel mill. After moving to Florida in 1977 he worked for CalGas, where he became plant manager. He continued to work in the propane industry until his retirement in 1991. Rudy displayed his passion for woodworking in the many projects he completed over the years, including a handcrafted toy box for his first great-grandson. He was an avid reader, outdoorsman and history buff, and could tell you the type of airplane flying overhead. He loved country music with a little Bob Dylan and Joan Baez for good measure. A proud Freemason for 58 years, he was a member of Orange Lodge #36 in Apopka, Florida. He was known for his quick wit, infectious smile, and generosity.
A life well lived, he was loved and will be missed. His burial service will be at 3:30 pm on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Conover City Cemetery. He will be laid to rest with military and Masonic honors alongside his wife Barbara. The family will greet friends at the cemetery following the service.
Donations in his memory can be made to Vitas Hospice of Lake County, Florida at http://vitascommunityconnection.org/community-connection/donate.
Condolences may be sent to the Cowan family at www.drumfh-conover.com.
Services respectfully provided by Drum Funeral Home in Conover, North Carolina.
- Graveside Service Saturday, April 6, 2019
Ralph "Rudy" Rudolph Cowan
JASON & BRIAN HORNE
April 4, 2019
💖💖 WE LOVE AND MISS YOU PAW-PAW & MAW-MAW !! 💖
LOVE YOUR MIRROR IMAGE IDENTICAL TWIN GRANDSONS' JASON & BRIAN 💖💖
April 3, 2019
My deepest condolences to the family of Uncle Rudolph.
Shelley Cowan (Daughter of Jim Cowan)