Gladys Cowen


Gladys Cowen
Oct. 24, 1918 - March 9, 2012

Gladys M. (Morris) Cowen, 93, died March 9, 2012, in Edmonds, Wash., from natural causes. Gladys was the fourth of four daughters born to Kearney and Lovie (Glosson) Morris on Oct. 24, 1918, on the family farm in Teer, N.C., which is approximately seven miles west of Chapel Hill. She grew up on the farm and learned about gardening and growing vegetables at an early age. She graduated from Chapel Hill High School in 1936, and she attended business college in Raleigh.

After working a short time in Raleigh, she left North Carolina and moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a secretary. In D.C., she met Donald Cowen, of Boise, Idaho, who was serving in the U.S. Navy. Don was receiving additional training after serving in the Atlantic Theater; he was being reassigned to the Pacific. Don was severely injured when his ship, USS Indianapolis, was sunk at the end of the war.

Shortly after his release from the hospital, Gladys and Don were married on Nov. 10, 1945, in Washington, D.C. They then moved to Klamath Falls, Ore., where Donald Jr. was born on Aug. 9, 1946. They moved a number of other times during the next eight years, including Pullman, where Don was attending graduate school at Washington State University. There in 1952, Gladys gave birth to daughter, Jennifer.

In 1954, the family moved to Dayton, where Don became a teacher at Dayton High School, and Gladys tended her growing family. In 1955, daughter Paulette was born and the family was complete. Gladys lived in Dayton for over 53 years. A serious illness in 2007 caused her to move to Edmonds to be near both of her daughters.

In addition to her family, Gladys loved to garden, with a gift for creative floral arrangements. She won numerous ribbons at the Columbia County Fair. She was an avid reader and had a special affinity for the Dayton Library. She loved to walk. She also had a profound fondness for cats, having at least one or often more than one for the vast majority of her long life.

Gladys was a member of a number of groups in Dayton including the American Legion Auxiliary and the Elizabeth Forest Day Club. She volunteered often at the Dayton Hospital Gift Shop. She was a longtime member of the Community Bible Church.

Gladys is survived by her daughters, Jennifer (Ralph) Lee and Paulette (Lars) Johnson. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Toni Ann (Cowen) Nugent, Timothy Cowen, Anders Johnson, Eric Johnson, Elizabeth (Lee) Scholz and Aaron Lee. She also has six great-grandchildren, Kelsie Nugent, Stephen Nugent, Dakota Cowen, Sierra Denend, Charles Johnson and Philip Johnson, all of Washington. Finally she is survived by her niece, Billie (Thompson) Ray; and her nephews, Joseph Thompson and Gary Moses, all of North Carolina. She is preceded in death by her husband, Donald Cowen; her son, Donald Cowen, Jr; and her three sisters, Spella Crawford, Lena Thompson and Lois Moses.

Gladys's family would like to thank the folks at Amazing Grace House in Edmonds for their care of Gladys in her final days. A graveside memorial gathering for Gladys will be held at the Dayton City Cemetery at 1 p.m. on March 24, 2012, with a reception immediately
following at the Dayton Memorial Library. Any memorials to Gladys may be made to the Friends of the Dayton Library, P.O. Box 74, Dayton, WA 99382.

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