In Memory of



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 (

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