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Edward B. (Ted) Cogswell Jr.

1933 - 2019 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Edward B. (Ted) Cogswell Jr. Obituary
Edward B. (Ted) Cogswell Jr.

GREAT FALLS - Edward B. (Ted) Cogswell Jr., 85, died of natural causes on April 16, 2019.

Ted was born in Great Falls on September 21, 1933 to Edward B. (Ted) and Eloise Cogswell. He was the grandson of Dr. William F. Cogswell, a pioneer in Montana public health.

Ted graduated from Great Falls High School in 1951, where he played fullback for the Bison and was named to the All State Second Team as a senior. He attended the University of Idaho as a freshman, and the next year transferred to the University of Montana, where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration. In the library at UM he met music student Ann Kovatch of Conrad; they were married in August of 1955.

Following graduation from the University, Ted was accepted into United States Air Force pilot training at Moore Air Force Base at Mission, Texas, and became an Air Force instructor pilot.

Released from active duty, Ted left Texas on April 16, 1958 to return to Great Falls and join his father in business at Cogswell Agency. Ted's proficiency as a pilot enhanced the Agency's ability to provide service to insurance and surety clients throughout the nation. Alongside his father, Ted built a small family business into what was, for a time, the largest privately owned insurance agency in Montana. He later became company president, specializing in contractor surety. The highlight of his professional life was, when in 1989, he was named president of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, and traveled the country to preside at regional and national meetings.

Also upon his return to Great Falls Ted joined the Montana Air National Guard, flying the F-89, F-102 and F-106 fighter jets. Guarding against possible attacks during the Cold War meant flying frequent night missions over Canadian airspace. On some winter missions he would witness incomparable displays of the Northern Lights from his jet canopy at 40,000 ft.

A highlight of Ted's military aviation career occurred when he flew an F-102 back to the United States from The Netherlands over the North Atlantic via Scotland, Iceland and Greenland. He was eventually promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and he retired from the Air Guard in 1980. Ted was an enthusiastic member of The Order of Daedalians, a nationwide fraternity of retired military aviators.

As a private pilot, Ted was bestowed The Wright Brothers Award by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2006, "In appreciation for outstanding contributions that further the cause of aviation safety."

He served two terms as chairman of the Great Falls Airport Commission. He was also a lifelong member of the Church of the Incarnation and was elected to the vestry.

In 1973, Ted and his business partner George Willett purchased Ski Lift Inc. at the Kings Hill Ski Area, and the two changed the area's name to Showdown. For years Ted spent winter weekends skiing at Showdown while enjoying the company of his friends and family.

Ted's loving relationship with his wife, Ann, a music educator, created in him a passion for the arts. Together, Ted and Ann enjoyed pursuing interests in travel, the fine arts and music. While traveling they enjoyed exploring galleries and collecting art. As a certified scuba diver, Ted explored coral reefs, viewed exotic fish and found serenity in the depths of the ocean.

In 1980 and 1981 Ted served two terms as president of the Great Falls Symphony Association and it was during his tenure that the Board hired a young conductor named Gordon Johnson, who changed the direction of the Symphony orchestra and made it what it is today.

Ted and Ann shared a love of animals and during their years together they rescued many dogs from abuse, abandonment and neglect, each of whom became a beloved family member.

Ted is survived by his wife, Ann; sons Ted III, and Paul (Sue Shannon); daughter Amy (Jack) Law, and three grandchildren: Jeremy, Tyler and Olivia Law; brother, Jack Cogswell; and beloved terrier, Maxine.

Services will be held at The Church of the Incarnation-Episcopal on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 11:00 AM. Schnider Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials in Ted's name are suggested to The Church of the Incarnation, the Great Falls Symphony, or an animal rescue organization of the donor's choice.

The family thanks the staffs at the Grandview Goodnow Cottage and Peace Hospice, especially Tawnee Bulyca, for their care and support.

Condolences for the family may be posted online at
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Apr. 21, 2019
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