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James Buchanan Cowperthwaite

James Buchanan Cowperthwaite February 4, 1923 - October 2, 2013 Jim died peacefully at his home in San Anselmo at the age of 90. Born in Helensburgh, Scotland, he immigrated to Fairfax at age seven with his parents, Fred and Ida Cowperthwaite. A few years later they moved to San Anselmo. He commuted on the train to Tamalpais High School where he graduated in 1941. He met Mary Anne (Crisp), his future bride at a church youth group picnic while both were attending Tam. He served as an aviation machinist mate 1st class in the U.S. Navy during World War II and thereafter obtained a degree in accounting from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Jim and Mary Anne were married in 1947. Jim felt fortunate to be among the first in the 1950's to develop accounting systems for the IBM 700 series "supercomputer." His work with this computer occurred while he was employed by the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company. It was a single computer that filled a large air conditioned room. In the early 1960's he worked as a systems analyst and developed accounting systems for the University of California at Berkeley. He told many stories about the protests that he observed from his office in Sproul Hall. He retired in the 1980's. During his professional career he participated in many organizations and made many enduring friendships. Jim served as a Boy Scout Master for Troop 25 in San Anselmo in the 1950's and as a San Anselmo Little League coach in the 1960's. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo and served as a Deacon and Elder. He was appointed as a commissioner to both the San Anselmo Planning Commission and the Historical Commission. He was also a member of Sirs. Until his recent illness, Jim was constantly occupied with a project or hobby. He loved golf, sailing, dancing (he was very good), vintage cars, and singing Harry Lauder Scottish songs. He enjoyed playing bridge with friends. He hiked much of the Water District watershed, including a few treks from his house in San Anselmo to his house in Bolinas, his favorite place. Jim was a proud Scot with a dry sense of humor. He was a home body, but Mary Anne was able to persuade him to take many trips, especially when they involved Scotland or golf. Jim was an only child. He is survived by Mary Anne, his wife of 66 years, his two sons, John and Peter, his daughter-in-laws, Carol and Lynne, and his three grandchildren, Neil, Ellen and Elizabeth whom he loved dearly. A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo at 72 Kensington Road at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 9, 2013. Monte's Chapel of the Hills, San Anselmo (415) 453-8440

Funeral Home

Monte's Chapel Of The Hills
330 Red Hill Ave San Anselmo, CA 94960
(415) 453-8440

Published in Marin Independent Journal from Oct. 25 to Oct. 30, 2013
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