August 1925 – May 2023
Renton resident since 1943, our beloved Betty Cowan passed away on May 10. 2023 in Renton, Washington. She was born in Parksville, Tennessee on August 21, 1915 to John and Myrtle Curbow. Throughout her life, she was proud to be from Tennessee. Betty loved her childhood and got to know everyone in the county. High school was an especially fun time for her as she was captain of the girls’ basketball team, a cheerleader, FFA Queen and friend to all.
In 1943, Betty along with her mother and sisters drove cross country to Renton, Washington as her Dad had written home that there were jobs for all. Betty took a job at Boeing. She also became reacquainted with Jack Cowan who was stationed at Ft. Lewis and had been a boarder in her family home in Tennessee. They fell in love and with a weekend furlough got married at the parsonage of the Methodist Church in downtown Renton. Jack was transferred to the South Pacific but left Betty pregnant with their first child, Linda Sue. Betty loved being a mother and ten months after Jack’s discharge, their son John Lee was born. After the war, Jack and Betty operated the Highlands Taxi Service. Betty stayed at home, answered the phone and enjoyed her children. She was their Cub, Brownie and Girl Scout leader, cafeteria supervisor and unwavering cheerleader.
After Linda had graduated from college and John was serving in Viet Nam, Betty went to Green River Junior College and the University of Washington earning her BA in Education. She immediately went to work in the Renton School District at Dimmit Middle School and then Kennydale Elementary, She loved each of her students and brought a beautiful blend of enthusiasm and maturity to her classroom.
Betty enjoyed traveling. She and Jack made over 50 trips “home” to Tennessee and North Carolina. She was a longtime member of Calvary Baptist Church followed by membership at Bethlehem Lutheran in 2006. 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. They both absolutely delighted in being grandparents.
Betty loved people, had a quick wit, easy laugh, integrity, good manners, and was a mentor to many. Her zest for life, ability to truly listen and genuine interest in people will be sorely missed.
Betty is survived by daughter Linda Sue (Sterling Kuhlman); son John; granddaughters: Christine Sue (Josh Beam) and Jennifer Lee (Silvestre Olguin); step granddaughters: Gail Fuller; Cheryl (John Deviny); Lisa Kuhlman and Candis Kuhlman; great grandchildren: Booker Lee Beam, Abigail Christine Beam, Alexandre Liam Olguin and Paul Rosquita (Jacque); great, great grandchildren Elle and Sterling Rosquita; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her beloved husband Jack, her parents, brother Don Curbow and wife Deryl, sister Charlene and husband Ted Love, brother-in-law Durwood Blood and niece Susan Love.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 3rd at Sunset Community Church, 1032 Edmonds Avenue NE in Renton followed by a reception in the fellowship hall and graveside at Greenwood Memorial Cemetery.