Lois Cowan of Wallowa died May 17, 2006, at the Wallowa Memorial Hospital after a short illness. She was 94.
Mrs. Cowan was born Jan. 31, 1912, in Elgin to James Elvis and Bertha Witty Witherspoon. She grew up on the family farm on Cricket Flat and attended the Hindman Country School. She graduated from Elgin High School in 1931. After graduating, Lois worked as a telephone operator and a clerk in a grocery store.
On June 26, 1938, she married Carl Raymond Cowan in Elgin. They lived in Baker City, Sumpter, La Grande and Elgin before moving to Wallowa in 1944. Raymond Cowan was the fire warden and Mrs. Cowan the dispatcher for the Oregon State Dept. of Forestry. She was also an aerial observer for bomber planes during the Korean War.
Mrs. Cowan worked with the Wallowa School hot lunch program for many years. She volunteered at the Wallowa senior meal site and at the Wallowa food bank.
She was a board member of the Friends of the Wallowa City Library, was a 4-H sewing leader, and worked on the Wallowa County Election Board for many years.
In the early 1970’s the Cowans owned and operated the Elgin Playland Roller Skating Rink for several years.
Mrs. Cowan loved gardening and preserving food. She also enjoyed sewing and music. She played the piano and violin in a band with her brothers as well as with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, and later a steel guitar.
Mrs. Cowan was a member of the Wallowa Methodist Church and the Hurricane Creek Grange. This was her 80th year of Grange membership, having joined the Cricket Flat Grange when she was 14 years old.
In 2003, she moved to Alpine House assisted living facility in Joseph.
Mrs. Cowan is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law Treva and Tom Crooks of Joseph and Darlene and Kerry Johnson of Wallowa; brother James Delbert Witherspoon of Ventura, Calif; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Raymond; brothers Perry, Buren and Buford; and baby sister Jewell Marie.
Donations in her name may be made to the Wallowa City Library or the Wallowa Methodist Church Memorial Fund.
Funeral services have been held.
Wallowa County Chieftain , June 15, 2006 (Photo with Obituary)