ALVA H. COWAN, JR. 1927-2013
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ASHEVILLE - Alva Hull Cowan, Jr., of Bear Creek Road, Asheville, died Monday, April 8, 2013 at John F. Keever Solace Center.
Al was a native of Buncombe County and a lifelong resident, except during his military service. He was born to the late Alva Hull Cowan, Sr., and Ruby McCurry Cowan. Also preceding him in death were his wife, Ella Mae Stevens Cowan, his brother Thomas L. Cowan, and his sister Carolyn Cowan Daniel. He joined the Navy during World War II at age 16 and served in the Pacific war zone, where he piloted landing craft at the Battle of Iwo Jima and survived Kamikaze attacks. Following the end of the war, he was discharged from the Navy and joined the Air Force on the same day. Al talked his way onto one flight during the Berlin Airlift and served as a tail gunner on a B-29 during the Korean War. After returning home to Asheville he worked as an automobile mechanic. He was a Baptist and great fan of automobile racing and fast cars in general. He loved traveling and fishing, especially with his beloved wife, Ella ("Slim"). An avid reader, Al particularly enjoyed the works of Louis L'Amour and Clive Cussler, and just about any car magazine. A devoted Life Member of Freemasonry, he served in many offices, including Master of the Nichols-West Asheville Masonic Lodge. He is survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A graveside service will be held on Sunday, April 14, 2013, at 2:30 PM at the Leicester Episcopal Churchyard cemetery on Alexander Road in Leicester, NC. Pastors Ricky Wolfe and Bobby Smith will officiate and Masonic rites will be conducted. To reach the churchyard from Patton Avenue, drive about 8 miles to the traffic light in Leicester, and turn right onto Alexander Road. The cemetery is on the right a short distance after the turn. In lieu of flowers, please send donations for the cemetery, Leicester Episcopal Churchyard, c/o Ivagene Parham, 2698 New Leicester Hwy., Leicester, NC 28748.
For those who desire, condolences may be offered to the family under Mr. Cowan's obituary at www.WestFamilyFuneralServices.com.
West Funeral Home
17 Merrimon Avenue
Weaverville, NC 28787
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Apr. 12, 2013