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Rev. Robert E. Cousart

1922 - 2019
Rev.  Robert E. Cousart Obituary
Rev. Robert E. Cousart
Longtime valley pastor and former mayor of Kittitas, Rev. Robert Edward "Bob" Cousart, 97, died on August 23, 2019, after a short illness. Rev. Cousart has pastored several churches in the Kittitas Valley since 1980 and served as mayor of Kittitas from 2005 to 2007.
Bob was born January 1, 1922, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Roy and Laura Cousart, At 19, under the ministry of George Beverly Shea, he accepted God's call to preach, enrolled in pre-theological studies at Temple University, and received his Local Preacher's License from the Methodist Church.
On August 16, 1944, while stationed in Ketchikan, Alaska, in the Coast Guard during World War II, Bob married AnnaMae, daughter of Charles and Florence Personeus, the first Assemblies of God missionaries to Alaska.
After the war, Bob completed his ministerial education at Eastern Bible Institute, Greenlane, Pennsylvania. In 1948, with their two toddlers, the couple returned to Alaska to help the Personeuses build the church in Pelican.
That fall, the Cousarts moved to Juneau for the birth of their third child. From 1948 to 1958, Bob worked for Alaska Coastal Airlines, operated the Bethel Beach Children's Home for five years, and was active in what is now Juneau Christian Center and Gideons International.
In 1958, Bob began pastoring fulltime, first in Pelican, Alaska, then in Seward and Valdez. During those years, he served as an officer on several local and state education boards.
On Good Friday, 1964, the Great Alaskan Earthquake destroyed much of Seward. As president of the Ministerial Association, he led the earthquake survivors in a combined church service on Easter morning. In 1966, in Valdez, he oversaw rebuilding the church and parsonage in the new town after the earthquake.
In 1964, Bob was elected the first Secretary-Treasurer of the newly-formed Alaska District of the Assemblies of God and served on the General Presbytery of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, posts he held until 1973, when the Cousarts accepted the call to pastor the Assembly of God in Naches, Washington, then Union Gap, Kittitas, and Ellensburg until 1997. After his retirement, he taught the adult Sunday school class and served as secretary-treasurer of the church board at Family Christian Center until 2013.
At the age of 82, Bob was elected mayor of Kittitas, a position he held for two years, until the Cousarts moved to assisted living in Ellensburg. When his wife died in 2012, Bob moved to Hearthstone Cottage, and this April, to Pacifica Senior Living.
Bob was well-known for his friendly smile and encouraging words, his integrity, and his love of singing.
Bob is survived by two daughters, Rev. AnnaLee (Robert) Conti of Beacon, New York; and Mrs. Kathleen (Thomas) McAlpine of Hoven, South Dakota; a son, Robert P. Cousart of Yakima, Washington; a foster daughter, Denia Schmidt of Anchorage, Alaska; 13 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-granddaughter. He was predeceased by his wife; his parents; a brother, Jack F. Cousart of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania; and a foster daughter, Barbara Capjohn Chu, of Juneau, Alaska.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Alaska Ministry Network, memo Little Beaver Camp (LBC), 1048 W. International Airport Rd., Suite 101, Anchorage, AK 99518 or online: alaskaministrynetwork.org. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.brooksidefhc.com.
Brookside Funeral Home is caring for the family.
Published in Daily Record on Sept. 7, 2019
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