Colonel USAF, (Ret)
Les Cowan passed away on July 25, 2013 at the age of 92. He was born in Montana, graduated from Montana State University, New York University, and American University in Washington D.C. At American in June 1963, the commencement speaker was President John F. Kennedy.
In October of 1942, Les enlisted in the Army Air Corps, later transferring to the United States Air Force. He earned advancement in duty and in rank as a Meteorologist supporting military air operations in Fort St. John, British Columbia, and then increased his range of abilities to his final 5 year assignment at the Pentagon, in Washington D.C. He retired from Active Duty in 1964.
In 1964, Les relocated the family to Seattle, where he began a new career with the Boeing Company. He supported many divisions there, including production of the B-1B Bombers and the Air Warning and Control System. He retired in 1984, while he "still had his health and he had put his six children through college". After retirement, he enjoyed golf, dance club, bridge, family history research, travel and spending time at his beloved log cabin at Salmon La Sac in Washington.
While stationed in Fort St. John, B/C., he met Doris, a lovely Canadian woman who was working on the Alaska Highway Project. They were married for 55 years until Doris preceded him in death in 2001. They had seven children, one of whom (Jerry) passed at an early age.
In 2002, while traveling in Palm Springs, Les chanced to meet Kaye Mulvey, who had also been left a widow in 2001. On April 2003 they were married, two people with completely different backgrounds but with a common core of belief and behavior. Les left the neighborhood of Magnolia, after 39 years of residence, and learned beach living in Kaye's long time home of Seaview, Wash. He enjoyed the beach life, embracing Kaye's family and friends. Les and Kaye took winter trips to Southern California and Hawaii until 2010 when they decided to stay home and enjoy the many cultural and social activities available in the area.
Les is survived by his wife, Kaye Mulvey-Cowan, his six children, JoAnn Cowan, Lee Cowan, Barbara Hardman, Westina Peckham, Donna Cowan, and Kevin Cowan. He is also survived by his two sisters, Della Wyatt and Eva Zanassi as well as his half brother David Cowan. He was predeceased by his sister Westina O'Hearon, his half brother Charles Cowan, and his young son, Jerry. He left 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
There will be a family service and burial at Holyrood Cemetery. In accordance with his wishes, a repast for both friends and family will be held at the Ballard Elks . These will be scheduled at a later date.
All friends may contribute their comments to the family by leaving their names and contact information on Legacy.com so that they may be invited to the memorial celebration.
He was an honest man, hardworking, loyal and steady. We will all miss him very much.
Published in The Seattle Times on Aug. 11, 2013