OBITUARY

Robert Jay COWLISHAW

December 12, 1941May 5, 2021

Dos Equis famously ran a campaign about the "Most Interesting Man In The World." That company picked the wrong silver fox. It should have been Robert J. Cowlishaw.

Bob, who died at age 79 on May 5, 2021 in Fort Myers, Fla., was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., in December 1941. He was a Michigan State University graduate who became a captain in the Air Force, saw much of the world and served his country as a navigator in Vietnam. He was an owner of Grand Rapids Wood Finishing. Bob found his true calling, however, in exotic animals -- monkeys, birds, turtles, alligators and especially snakes and lizards. He worked as a tour guide at the Miami Serpentarium, traversed South America on zoological expeditions and would go on to own Captain Bob's Animal Kingdom in Lakeland, Fla., and Everglades Day Safari in Fort Myers, Fla.

While largely retired at the time of his passing, Bob did the occasional tours and took care of numerous snakes, lizards, birds and dogs out of his Fort Myers home with the help of his VERY patient and understanding wife of 34-plus years and favorite all-time mammal Leslie Cowlishaw (nee Wood). We are convinced Bob held out health-wise to reach his 34th wedding anniversary just two days before his sudden passing. His ideal Saturday was spending time with Leslie, his dogs Maxwell, Jazmin and Daisy and rooting big time for University of Michigan football (despite being a Sparty grad!) with a Bud Light or two. He also leaves behind children Tiffani, Matt and Elisha.

The world is a "Much Less Interesting" place without Bob.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Robert Jay COWLISHAW

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Wendy VandeWater

May 15, 2021

Leslie, Matt, Elisha and Tiffany... How incredibly hard! We loved Bobert! Leslie, we know how much you both adored each other. Please know our arms of love and healing are wrapped around you all. We will sincerely miss him.
Tom, Wendy, and the Vandes

Cindy Gregg

May 7, 2021

Leslie, Clay and I are so very sorry and absolutely heartbroken. Bob was, and always will be, the absolute best boss I ever had the pleasure of working with. His belief in my abilities changed my life and for that I am forever grateful. His wisdom and wit are legendary around our home.
Our love to you, Leslie. We know that you are the love of his life, he was so proud to be your husband. Our thoughts are with you and I hope to see you. Lots of love from us…

Diane Landheer

May 6, 2021

Les and extended family, so very sorry and sad to hear of bobs sudden passing. My heart hurts for all of you. All our sympathies. I remember bob from when all of us girls played softball and he’d bring his new cars around to show us and kid around.

Patti Burdick

May 6, 2021

Bob and you where always so much fun to be around. Always happy to see the Franklin family. You always made us feel welcome. Please know we will miss him and we hope to see you soon. Praying for healing for you and your family. Love the Burdicks

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY