Jack L. Cowan

April 17, 1918February 26, 2018

Our beloved Jack Cowan passed away on February 26, 2018 in Auburn, Washington. He was born in Greens Creek, North Carolina on April 17, 1918 to James Jasper and Elizabeth Hicks Ashe Cowan. Throughout his life, he was proud to be from the hills of North Carolina which he loved roaming in his childhood with his six siblings. With the advent of the depression, Jack’s life changed. He left school to join the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in order to help support his family. In the CCCs he helped build trails and lodges along the Rogue River in Oregon as well as helping to rebuild the town of Bandon, Oregon after their devastating fire in 1936. After returning home, he worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to build a dam. Upon making the decision to board at the home of the Curbow family, he became acquainted with their daughter, Betty. That decision proved to be a life-changing one for Jack. There we not exactly sparks at the time as she was much younger, but that landlord’s daughter became the future Mrs. Cowan. In June, 1942, Jack was drafted into the Army and was stationed in multiple locations. During his time at Ft. Lewis, Washington he looked up the Curbow family and started dating Betty. With a weekend furlough, they had their wedding at the parsonage of the Methodist Church in downtown Renton and a quick honeymoon to Victoria, BC. He was then transferred to the South Pacific and stationed at Christmas Island. He was on a troop ship headed to Japan when the bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Upon his discharge and return to Renton, he met his first child, Linda Sue when she was six months old. Ten months later, his son John Lee was born. After the war, Jack and Betty operated the Highlands Taxi Service. In 1950, Jack began working at Boeing in security where he ultimately became Captain. His job took him around the world twice where he got to visit locations in China, Africa and many more. Jack always had an unquenchable work ethic. After retirement from Boeing, he volunteered four days a week driving senior citizens to doctor appointments. He cut back his volunteering to one day a week when he started working at Adesa Car Auction in Auburn. He worked at Adesa until age 84. Jack enjoyed traveling. He and Betty made over 50 trips “home” to Tennessee and North Carolina. He was a longtime member of Calvary Baptist Church in Renton and more recently a member of Bethlehem Lutheran. In 1978, Betty and Jack were blessed with the arrival of their first grandchild, Christine Sue Cowan, followed three years later by Jennifer Lee Cowan. Jack loved every facet of being grandfather from changing diapers, to chauffeuring to school, to road trips, Disneyland, Easter Egg hunts, baking biscuits and just hanging out. Jack was a man of honor and integrity with a strong work ethic, good manners and gracious hospitality. He was truly representative of the Greatest Generation. He is survived by his wife Betty; daughter Linda Sue (Sterling Kuhlman); son John; granddaughters: Christine Sue (Josh Beam) and Jennifer Lee; step granddaughters: Gail (Scott Fuller); Cheryl (John Deviny); Lisa Kuhlman and Candis Kuhlman. Great grandchildren: Booker Lee Beam and Paul Rosquita (Jacque) and great, great grandchildren Elle and Sterling Rosquita. Deceased family members are his parents, Jasper and Hicks Ashe; siblings: Cordell Cowan, Edith Cowan, Stella (Clifton Smith), Gladys (Ed Kiker), Mary Alice (Jake Phillips); and Bill Cowan (Linda) as well as numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at 11:00Am on March 3, 2018 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church M Street NE in Renton, followed by reception in the fellowship hall at Bethlehem Lutheran and graveside at Greenwood Memorial Park.


  • Jim Blood
  • Paul Rosquita
  • Kurt Kiker
  • Josh Beam
  • Don Kuhlmann
  • Sterling Kuhlman, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Durwood Blood, Honorary Pallbearer


  • Visitation Friday, March 2, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Saturday, March 3, 2018
  • Graveside Service Saturday, March 3, 2018

Jack L. Cowan

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