Mary Elizabeth (MaryBeth) Locke Cowden, went home to be with her Lord on February 12, 2013. She was surrounded by her family and friends, the caring staff of the Florida Lutheran Retirement Center, and Hospice. MaryBeth passed away at the age of 70 due to complications from Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, which is a rare and progressively debilitating form of Multiple Sclerosis. MaryBeth was born July 17, 1942 to Joseph and Marie Locke, in Boynton Beach, Florida. She grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, graduating from Robert E. Lee High School in 1960. MaryBeth taught herself to play the piano. She both sang in and conducted many church choirs. She excelled in school, always receiving top academic honors. She was very proud to have earned the First Class Award in Girl Scouts. MaryBeth continued her academic career at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. She graduated in 1964 with a degree in Education. While at Stetson she completed a significant research project that was adopted as a new model for teaching math to students. In addition she organized the government periodicals in the Dupont Ball Library. After graduation, she began teaching at DeLand Junior High School. While teaching, she earned both her Master's and Specialist's degrees in Education from Stetson University. She met her husband Darryl during their freshman years at Stetson. They were married on graduation weekend and made DeLand their home. MaryBeth felt that teaching children was her calling in life and that God had provided her the talents to nurture students and to share with them her love for learning and especially for reading. She retired after 35 years of teaching at many schools, including Southwestern 7th Grade Center, Galaxy Middle, Long-Lake Helen Elementary and Volusia Pines Elementary. While at Long-Lake Helen Elementary she assisted with the building of three elementary school libraries in southwest Volusia. She touched the lives of many students, as well as those of faculty and staff. She was the quintensciental "teacher's teacher." MaryBeth was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She is survived by Darryl, her husband of 48 years; her daughter, Dona (Cowden DeMarsh) Butler (Paul); and two grandsons, Duncan DeMarsh, and PFC David Butler, USMC. In addition, she leaves her brother, Joe Locke (Eleanor); sister Lucinda Hale (Dan); brother-in-law Lt. Col., Ret., Dennis Cowden (Linda); her aunt Beverly Cowden (Roger, deceased), and many nieces and nephews. Among her greatest gifts to her family was the love of reading, that she shared first with her daughter, and then with her grandson, Duncan. MaryBeth was an active volunteer for her entire life. She enjoyed sharing her love of service to others with her family. She was a Girl Scout leader and an Altar Guild Member. She served on the Board of Directors for the Children's Home Society, was the volunteer Executive Secretary of the DeLand YMCA, and served on the Educational Committee of the DeLand Chamber of Commerce. MaryBeth was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, a fraternity for outstanding educators and a member of Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority and enjoyed warm social friendships with her fellow teachers, both active and retired. MaryBeth had a deep and abiding faith in God. This faith guided her every step and action. All those that knew her, felt her sweet kindness, generosity, love and grace. She had a beautiful smile that warmed everyone who saw it. Until the day she passed away, she was actively inquiring about and helping others. It was truly God's purpose for her life. To continue her legacy of teaching others, MaryBeth made arrangements for her body to be donated to the University of Central Florida Medical School. Visitation will be held at Lankford Funeral Home on Friday, March 1, 2013 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. A memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. A lunch reception will follow at the Clarion Hotel (formerly the Hilton). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Volusia-Flagler Hospice or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for PPMS research. You are invited to share your memories with the family at www.lankfordfuneralhome.com.
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Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27, 2013
Lankford Funeral Homes & Crematory
220 E. New York Ave. Deland, FL 32724