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James Weldon Cowan


1951 - 2020
James Weldon Cowan Obituary
COWAN, James Weldon James Weldon Cowan passed away peacefully at his home on December 31, 2019, after a battle with cancer. James was an incredible man, a beloved and devoted husband, father, uncle, son, brother, grandfather, and friend. James was born in Gladewater, Texas on December 8, 1951. A favorite childhood memory of his was meeting a young Elvis Presley at a local pharmacy; this encounter sparked an enduring love for his music. James was a successful athlete for the fighting Gladewater Bears and although he played multiple sports, playing quarterback for the football team was his true passion. Upon graduating high school, James attended Louisiana Tech University on a football scholarship. James moved to Austin and began a career in the beer distribution business. Soon thereafter, he met Debbie Schroeder of Brenham. They were married and had a daughter, Jami Lynn Cowan. In Austin, James developed a love for the game of golf. He became a member of Lost Creek Country Club, and it was there that he met the love of his life, Bretagne Ragland. They were married and had a daughter, McKenzie Merritt Cowan. After 39 years, he retired in 2010 as President from Centex Beverage, concluding a remarkable career. James enjoyed spending time with family, traveling, especially on cruises or to Las Vegas, and sports of all kinds. Dancing with his wife, spoiling his girls, a cold Miller Lite, great TV and a good scotch were some of James' favorite things. James was known for his incredible work ethic, East Texas lingo, and hilarious wit. He was an inspiring man who was intensely generous and could solve any problem. Many lives were impacted by his giving spirit. James is loved dearly and will be missed by his wife of 32 years, his daughters, grandchildren, and countless family and friends. His loved ones will cherish his unrivaled story, starting with so little and accomplishing so much by living life his way. Gratitude and appreciation are extended to Texas Oncology and the incredible medical staff on the 6th floor of St. David's South Austin Medical Center. James' family will hold a private celebration of his life and ask that for those who wish, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to The First Tee of Greater Austin at www.thefirstteeaustin.org or the Lymphoma Research Foundation at lymphoma.org.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jan. 5, 2020
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