April, 1918 – February, 2018
Renton resident since 1945, 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. With the advent of the depression, Jack joined the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in order to help support his family. After returning home, he worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to build a dam.
In June, 1942, Jack was drafted into the Army and was stationed in multiple locales. During his time at Ft. Lewis, he looked up the Curbow family with whom he had boarded in Tennessee and started dating Betty. With a weekend furlough, they had their wedding at the parsonage of the Methodist Church in downtown Renton. 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, he met his first child, Linda Sue. 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 the Captain. His job took him around the world twice.
After retirement from Boeing, Jack volunteered to drive senior citizens to appointments. He also worked at Adesa Car Auction in Auburn from age 67 to 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 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); great, great grandchildren Elle and Sterling Rosquita; and numerous nieces and nephews. Deceased family members are his parents, six siblings and their spouses.
Burial with military honors was held at Greenwood Memorial Cemetery on March 3, 2018.