William Erwin Cowden Sr., 91, of Washington, died Friday, August 8, 2014, in Canonsburg Hospital.
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He was born August 6, 1923, in McDonald, Mt. Pleasant Township, a son of J. Lawrence and Thelma Rumbaugh Cowden.
Mr. Cowden was a 1941 graduate of Hickory High School.
He was a member of North Buffalo Presbyterian Church, where he served as a trustee.
Mr. Cowden was a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served at Ordinance Installation, Aberdeen, Md., and Red River Arsenal, Texarkana, Texas.
In May 1952, he was selected to attend Pennsylvania Game Commission Ross Leffler School of Conservation for wildlife conservation officers. He graduated in 1953, and was assigned to western Greene County. In 1956, he transferred to the western district of Washington County. Mr. Cowden was instrumental in acquiring several hundred acres of state game lands for public hunting in Pine Bank and Nettle Hill areas of Greene County and West Finley and Claysville areas of Washington County.
Mr. Cowden worked in the insurance industry until 1972, when he returned to civil service. He retired from California State University as director of security.
He was a member of National Rifle Association and American Legion Post 0945, Wormleysburg.
He enjoyed his time working on the family farm.
On November 27, 1942, he married Lois K. Miller, who survives.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, are four children, Sandra L. (David) Thomas, William E. (Kathleen) Cowden Jr., Bradley M. (Barbara) Cowden and Joyce (Tim) Inglis; four grandchildren, Melissa (Tim) Meredith, William M. (Jen) Cowden, Stefanie (Chris) Kulla and Julie (Chad) Durbin; 10 great-grandchildren; a sister, Belva White; and a brother, Russell Cowden.
Deceased are four sisters, Ila Snyder, Lois King, Evelyn Athey and Nancy Schmidt, and two brothers, Alvin and J. Lawrence Cowden.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in William G. Neal Funeral Homes Ltd., 925 Allison Ave., Washington, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, August 13, with Pastor Gary Gibson officiating. Burial will follow in Mount Prospect Cemetery, Washington.
Memorial donations may be made to Washington Health System Foundation, 155 Wilson Avenue, Washington, PA 15301.
Additional information and a guest book are available at www.NealFuneralHome.com.
William G. Neal Funeral Homes,Ltd. - Washington
925 Allison Ave Washington, PA 15301-3805
Published in Observer-Reporter on Aug. 10, 2014