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Robert Cowan


1935 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Robert Cowan Obituary
Robert Fabian Cowan

September 22, 1935 - November 15, 2018

Robert died surrounded by his family, his wife and his 3 children and his oldest grandchild Luke, his daughter-in-law, his step-daughter, Lori, his sister-in-law, Judy, and his friend, Marsha Goldberg. Robert died in Kaiser Hospital of acute respiratory failure after several years of restrictive breathing.

He was born in Cleveland Ohio and attended Bexley High School in Columbus before leaving for the University of California at Berkeley where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and went on to finish two masters degrees, first in sociology then in social work. He had maintained an intellectual curiosity since childhood when he visited museums alone or with his grandmother, taught himself Russian in high school, worked and helped organize the Albatross Book Store in San Francisco and liked to translate Latin sayings when he and wife Sally were reading after dinner for pleasure. He worked as an Assistant Director of the Department of Social Services in San Francisco for 32 years. After his wife, Anne, died in 2004 he established the Anne and Robert Cowan Award for Jewish Writers in the bay area through the Jewish Federation. This award is given about every two years. Robert was known for his interest in books, mysteries, noir films, poetry, classical as well as country music and for his quirky sense of humor and his winning smile. He liked to make and design jewelry. He enjoyed travel both in this country and abroad attending many Jungian conferences with his wife who is a psychiatrist. He also could be counted on to show up for events, grandchildren and step grandchildren's graduations and to Temple Emanu-El on Friday evenings and for dim sum at Yank Sing on Sundays even though in a wheel chair and on oxygen, living in skilled nursing at Heritage on the Marina for the past 3 years.

He is survived by his wife Sally and his children Jennifer Cowan, John Cowan (Kimberly) and David Cowan and by his his grandchildren Luke, Jesse and Julian Dreyer and their father Geoffrey Dreyer and their grandmother Emily Hunt, granddaughters Netzira and Maya Cowan and their mother Blanca Garcia, and by 3 year old granddaughter Samantha whose parents are John and Kimberly.

He is also survived by his step-daughter Lori McKenzie and her husband Michael McKenzie and their children Nathan McKenzie and Sarah DeLuca (Deven DeLuca) and step-daughter Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann and Gonçalo Macieira-Kaufmann and their children, Isaac and Matilde Macieira-Kaufmann, as well as sister & brother-in-law Judy and Herman Velasquez and sister-in-law Shirley Havner. He felt fortunate to be able to be active and involved in the activities of all of their lives.

The Memorial Service took place on November 18th and he will be interred at Home of Peace Cemetery in Colma.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Dec. 10 to Dec. 16, 2018
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