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Everette Cowan

Everette Cowan

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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Obituary for Everette Cowan

Everette Lloyd Keith Cowan

With great sadness, the family of Everette Cowan announce his passing at age 93 on June 10, 2020, in Lindsay, Ontario.

Everette was born on December 4, 1926, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Ev, as he was known to his family and friends, was the youngest of four siblings; Iva, Gladys, Stewart (all deceased) and Everette who grew up moving throughout Western Canada with father Bert, a Methodist minister, and mother Luella.

In April 1945, in Winnipeg, Ev enlisted in the Canadian military, following the path of his older brother Stewart, a member of the Canadian Air Force. He was discharged later that year at the end of the Second World War, but this was the beginning of a lifelong career of service to Canada. Everette met the love of his life, Shirley Brooks, in Winnipeg whilst attending the same high school. They both became students at the University of British Columbia. Everette and Shirley were married in Vancouver on December 27, 1948. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Criminology at UBC, Ev rejoined the Canadian military in 1952 and served as a member of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. Early in his career, he was a soldier of the post-war occupying forces in Iserlohn, West Germany. He then served at military bases across Canada, including Shilo, Manitoba, and Gagetown, New Brunswick. During this time, Ev also attended the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, Ontario. Ev and family were posted to Sydney, Australia, in the early 1960s to serve as a training advisor to the Australian army for service in Vietnam. He and Shirley supported a growing family with three children through these years. He retired as a Major from active service in 1970 and continued working as a civilian member of the Department of National Defence in Ottawa. His function was as an advisor to the Minister of National Defense. Two more sons joined the family during Ev’s time in Ottawa.

The pinnacle of his career were the years from 1977 through to his retirement in 1987 when he served as a diplomat at the Canadian Embassy in Bonn, West Germany. The postings to Sydney and Bonn have been a favoured topic of discussion around the dinner table over the subsequent decades. After retirement, Ev and Shirley chose to settle in the Kawartha Lakes area and the town of Lindsay.

Everette lived a very full life; a character filled with experience and wisdom. He was a great storyteller, with many memories to draw from. He was also a family man who took great pride in his ever-growing clan and never shied away from dispensing knowledge and advice to his children and grandchildren with the ever-present pointed finger. He was an accomplished organizer and planner which he used to great effect during his retirement years both at Adelaide Place and working with the Lindsay Lilac Society and with St John Ambulance.

Ev is survived by his lifelong partner, his wife of over 71 years, Shirley Cowan, as well as his five children and their spouses; Roger and Nancy, Claire and Derek, Glen and Michelle, Jim Clark and Jane and Mike and Joanne. He was the beloved grandfather of 9 grandchildren, Mark (Kimberly), Adam, Madeline, David, Jonathan, Andrew, Kathryn, Rachel and Aleks as well as great-grandchildren, Eleana and Jayden.

Everette was well loved by his family and friends and he will be greatly missed.

Special thanks go to the staff at Adelaide Place Retirement Community and Ross Memorial Hospital for their care of Dad. In lieu of flowers, Dad requested that any donations in his memory be made to St. John Ambulance Canada (www.sja.ca).

Due to the current pandemic, a Celebration of Life will be held at a future date when family and friends can attend.

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Service Details

  • Interment

    Mount Pleasant Cemetery
    375 Mount Pleasant Road
    Toronto, Ontario
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |

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Alison Scott

My happiest memory of Everette and Shirley was a Sunday lunch he spent in my home, with Claire his daughter and her family, together with my family on a visit to the UK. He has clearly been a source of inspiration to all his family and will be greatly missed. It was a privilege to spend some time with him
Comment | Posted at 03:14pm via Condolence

Greg Gearing

We will miss Ev. We enjoyed his trips to Texas and listening to him and my father discuss their lives.
Comment | Posted at 05:54pm via Condolence

sally Pollitt

My family's sincere condolences to Shirley and all the family. I met Everette twice in the UK and immediately understood how Claire his daughter and my dearest friend learned her skills of working the room and making everyone feel important and interesting. Everette was interested in everyone he met and found something he had in common with them. Although he had reached great heights in his career he had the "common touch" that enabled him to connect with people in a seemingly effortless manner. I felt honoured to have met him and eternally grateful that I have had the opportunity to share his family and their values through the friendship of Claire and her family . i sympathise with the family how difficult the world situation has made the last weeks of Everrete's life but am sure he felt your love throughout. with loving gratitude of your life, Sally Pollitt and Family
Comment | Posted at 01:35pm via Condolence

Len Dent

Shirlie and Len Dent
More than 50 years have passed since I (Len) first started working with Ev while we were in DND. Our friendship developed quickly and soon we were enjoying each others company socially with our wives Shirley and Shirlie. During three years in Germany we worked closely together officially when Ev was in Bonn and I was in Lahr. More importantly in the mid 1980s the four of us took memorable holidays together in Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
Back in Canada we continued our friendship visiting each others homes in Canada and also in our condo in Florida.. Ev and Shirley included us in several importance milestones in their lives with their family such as their 50th and 70th wedding anniversaries
Ev was an endearing individual. Always with a smile, always so positive and always so helpful to others. ....and always planning for the future.
We so much enjoyed all the times we spent with Ev and Shirley. He will be sorely missed

Comment | Posted at 04:11pm via Condolence

Dave Hayward

No words can express the sorrow we feel in Ev’s passing. He was a kind and very interesting man, I loved the anecdotes of his life that he shared. One of my favourite memories was a couple of years ago sitting by the river at Bobcaygeon eating ice cream with him and solving the problems of the world. It was through him and the family cottage at White Lake that I was introduced to my favourite part of the world. I think that you can judge the success of a man not by his wealth, but by the character of his children and family. I don’t think that I have ever met a nicer or warmer family circle and we felt so privileged to be included in it.
Roger, Claire,Glen, Mike and Jim, you have all done your father proud. Dave & Mary-Louise Hayward
Comment | Posted at 09:07am via Condolence

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