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Robert Melvin "Mel" Cowherd


1925 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
Robert Melvin "Mel" Cowherd Obituary
Cowherd, Robert Melvin "Mel" 10/12/1925 ~ 09/18/2013 CHULA VISTA -- Robert was born October 12, 1925 in Elk City, Oklahoma to Earl and Loleta Cowherd. There he attended Hagar School. In 1936 the family moved to Chula Vista. He started school at Chula Vista Elementary School on F Street. Because there were several other boys named Robert in his class, he became Melvin, or Mel. He went on to Chula Vista Junior High, and graduated from Sweetwater High School. In 1944 he was drafted into the Navy, and assigned to the USS Bush. The ship was attacked by kamikazes and sunk in the South Pacific. He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries he received. On July 1, 1945 he married Astrid Hustoft "Midge" and they were married until her death in 2004. Mel was known for his community service: in the South Bay YMCA Board of Directors, First Friday Breakfast, 20-30 Club, Jaycees, and the Chula Vista Harbor Commission. He served on the Y board for nearly 50 years. He was on many committees and boards at the First Methodist Church and the Community Congregational Church. He was a member of the Congregational Church at the time of his death. Mel was an Independent insurance agent with the Dwight Gove Agency from 1947 to 1986, at which time he retired. He loved to travel, starting with a travel trailer in 1951, moving through a series of trailers and motor homes for nearly 55 years. His family and friends never knew when they would get a call that he was going to be in the area, and would like to visit. In 2005 he married Lilyane Moody, and she was at his side until his death. Mel is survived by his wife, Lilyane, son John Cowherd (Christina Thorin), daughters Janice (Doug Baerg), and Judith (Dennis Nouchi), his grandson Zach Thorin Cowherd, and numerous nieces and nephews. A Viewing will be held on September 23, 2013, beginning at 5 p.m. at Community Mortuary, 855 Broadway, Chula Vista. A Celebration of Life will be held on October 5, 2013 at 10 a.m. in the Community Congregational Church, Chula Vista, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the South Bay YMCA, 1201 Paseo Magda, Chula Vista, CA 91910.
Published in U-T San Diego on Sept. 22, 2013
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