Cowan, William Proud

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

William Proud (Bill) Cowan, 92, of Blacksburg, Va., peacefully passed away on the evening of Sunday, July 4, 2010, while surrounded by his family. Bill was born on April 6, 1918, in New York, N.Y.

He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. Bill also received degrees from the Wharton School of Business and from Indiana State University. Bill served in the Army during World War II and received an honorable discharge as a Tech Sergeant. He worked for the Army Corps of Engineers with distinction until his retirement in 1973. He then moved to Hollywood, Fla., to be closer to his parents.

Bill loved to take cruises. During his retirement he took his family on 24 cruises around the Caribbean.

He was preceded in death by his beloved parents, William J. Cowan and Bertha B. Cowan; his brother and best friend, Robert F. Cowan; and his sister-in-law ,Stella K. Cowan. He is survived by his niece, Marilyn Ralph, of Manassas, Va.; great-nieces and nephews, William and Donna Ralph, of Narrows, Va., and Susan and James Mayo, of Manassas Va.; great-great nieces and nephews, Morgan Ralph, Liam Ralph, Katherine Mayo, Sarah Mayo and Christopher Mayo; cousin, Lillian Fosdick; and niece, Diana Wheeler and family.

Uncle Bill will be greatly missed, but fondly remembered for his great sense of humor and his positive outlook on life. He loved to take us to dinner and always had a great story to tell. William Cowan had resided at the Showalter Center in Blacksburg, Va., for the past two years. He was fondly known as Uncle Bill by everyone that worked there.

The family would like to thank William Lester, Sharon Moye, the nursing staff, and everyone that works at Showalter Center for their compassion and for taking such great care of our dear Uncle Bill.

There will be a memorial service and celebration of life for Uncle Bill 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2010, in the chapel of Riffe’s Funeral Service, Inc. in Narrows Va.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Warm Hearth Foundation, 2607 Warm Hearth Drive, Suite 100, Blacksburg, Va. 24060.

Online condolence messages to the family can be sent to