When 84-year-old Ann Cowan passed away June 10, 2012 in Bozeman it was a shock because, in spite of her age, she had always been so active and vital. Other than a broken shoulder blade from a skiing accident in her early 30s, she was never in a hospital, not even in the end. The latter was thanks to Southwest Montana Hospice that allowed her to die at home with the same dignity and fierce independence with which she had always lived.
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Ann and her twin sister Jean, who preceded her in death, grew up near Dubois, Wyo., where they were frequently photographed for magazines skiing, riding and living in the outdoors. They were among the first and only women fire-tower lookouts while still in their teens. And at 16 they flew a single engine plane home to Wyoming from school in Missouri, some of the youngest women at the time to fly unaccompanied for that distance.
Ann married Jack Cowan in Dubois after World War II and they moved to Bozeman where both attended college at MSU and skied the ridge at Bridger long before it was a formal ski area. They also lived briefly in Michigan, then Dubois, Casper, Wyo., and Aspen, Colo. Ann helped run their ski shop in Wyoming and worked for years for the Aspen Skiing Company.
After Jack died in 1979 Ann owned and ran an art gallery in Ketchum, Idaho, a restaurant in Ennis, and an antique store in Colorado before retiring and moving back to Bozeman with her daughter, Holly in 1995. She was a beautiful, smart, kind and funny woman who, like so many of her friends, personified the distaff side of The Greatest Generation and she will be greatly missed. Ann is survived by her daughter; son, Jay; three nieces; and six grand-nieces and nephews. Services will be held later in Dubois.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 24, 2012