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home : obituaries : obituaries June 25, 2016

Harley Funeral Home

Parker White Pruitt Funeral

8/26/2014 3:14:00 PM
William R. Cowan - Cross Hill

Chief Petty Officer, US Navy (Retired) William Robert Cowan, 89, of Lake Greenwood, SC, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at HospiceCare of the Piedmont in Greenwood, after a very sudden illness.

Born on a farm in Anderson County, SC on June 17, 1925, he was a son of the late Manuel Ezekiel and Kitty Lee Emerson Cowan.   He enlisted in the US Navy on October 7, 1943 and was honorably discharged on August 16, 1964 after serving 20 years, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.   Following his military service, he was employed by Life of Virginia Insurance Company for many years and later by the Greenville Hospital System.  On September 27, 1952, he married Audrey Dolores Heflin of Front Royal, VA with whom he had two daughters, Kitty Leigh and Kathy Ann.

Mr. Cowan spent years researching and compiling an exhaustive genealogy of his family, tracing his family’s presence in SC back to the early 1700s.  He was a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.    

He was a very loving, gentle and compassionate man who loved the Lord and his family more than anything.  He was taught to worship God, to respect our flag and that our country was built on religious principles.  He often said he was grateful for his family, the US Navy and the guardian angels who watched over him.    He loved to play jokes, tease and had an infectious belly laugh that often brought him to tears.  He was dearly loved and will be missed very much.  He will be forever in our thoughts and prayers until we meet again in Heaven.

A member of Grove Road Baptist Church, Mr. Cowan had faithfully attended First Baptist Church of Cross Hill since he moved to Lake Greenwood.

Mr. Cowan was preceded in death by his wife of forty years, Audrey Delores Heflin Cowan; brother, Manuel Ezekiel Cowan, Jr.; and brother-in-law, Buddy Smith.

Survivors include his daughters, Kitty Leigh Johnson and husband Tony and Kathy Ann Collard and husband Steve, both of Colorado Springs, CO; sisters, Mary Smith of Greer and Anne Turner and husband Tommy of Greenville; grandchildren, Christopher Sumner, Briana Sumner Baker and Brian Wright and five great-grandchildren, Bailey Sumner, Zackary Baker, Owen Baker, Macie Wright and Maddox Wright.   

A Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday at 2:00 PM at the First Baptist Church of Cross Hill with Reverend Brett Davis and Thomas Turner, Jr. officiating.  Burial with full military honors will follow in Mt. Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton. 

Pallbearers will be Chris Sumner, Brian Wright, Tony Johnson, Steve Collard, Tom Turner, Jr. and Bailey Sumner

The family will receive friends will receive friends Wednesday at the church from 1:00 PM until the service hour and at other times at the home.

Memorials may be made to HospiceCare of the Piedmont, 408 W. Alexander Ave., Greenwood, SC 29646 or to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 1741, Greenwood, SC 29648.

For online condolences please visit

Blyth Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the Cowan family.

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