Leo Ross Cowder, 81, a resident of Las Cruces, N.M. and Brazos Canyon near Chama, N.M. passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. He was born in Phillipsburg, Pa. on July 20, 1931. He attended school for 9 years in the Lock Haven, Pa. area and graduated from Clearfield High School, Clearfield, Pa., class of 1949. Served in the U.S. Navy for 4 years during the Korean War. Leo married Alice Bowers on July 11, 1953 in the West Side Methodist Church in Clearfield, Pa. and attended Penn State University for one year and was selected as one of 20 (out of over 300 applicants) for a Curtis-Wright Corp. sponsored drafting/design program ending with an associate degree and subsequent employment at their Quehanna, Pa., Research and Development Division. When Curtis-Wright closed the Quehanna operation he was hired by Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M. where he worked for almost 30 years during which time he spent one year as an American Instrumentation expert at The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. After retiring he lived in the Chama area for 10 years where he was instrumental in the creation of the Brazos Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, then divided his time between there and Las Cruces. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, reading, geocaching, and researching his family history. Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Otis Weldon and Wilma (Hendershot) Cowder; son, Gary Alan Cowder. He is survived by his wife Alice; daughters: KC (Kathy) Allen and husband Karl of Santa Fe, N.M., Shelley Williamson and husband Samual of Albuquerque, N.M.; sons: Michael (Mickey) of Santa Fe and Dale of Chama; grandchildren: Jonathan Stubbs, Russell Cowder and wife Angelique, Petra Cowder, Robert Cowder and wife Tiffany, Candace Cowder and Daleen Cowder; 3 great-granddaughters; numerous other loving relatives and friends. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 at 11 a.m. in the Sangre de Cristo Chapel of DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory with private burial to take place at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Ambercare Hospice,
in Leo's name. The family of Leo Ross Cowder has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley. (505) 747-7477 or www.devargasfuneral.com.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Aug. 30, 2012