Edward James “EJ” Cowen • November 26, 2020

Edward James “EJ” Cowen Sr., passed away on November 26, 2020, in Cantonment, FL. He was born October 10, 1925, in Gadsden County, FL. EJ served in the U.S. Army during both WWII and the Korean War. He received a BSA in Animal Science and a Master’s in Agricultural Extension from the University of Florida (Chomp, chomp).

EJ went on to be employed with the University of Florida as County Extension Director for Dixie County and then Escambia County, where he eventually retired in 1985 after more than 30 years of service. He was a dedicated and beloved member of St. Mark United Methodist Church where he served over 15 years on the Board of Stewards, taught adult Sunday School and was elected chairman of the Finance Committee.

EJ enjoyed being involved in and giving back to his community through various acts of service. He served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Kiwanis Club in Lake City and Downtown Pensacola, in the Rotary Club in Mayo and Cross City, and in the Chamber of Commerce in Cross City. He was a member of the Pensacola Interstate Fair for nearly 50 years and was involved in the UF Alumni Association. He also held leadership roles in the Florida Extension Workers’ Association, the Florida Association of County Agricultural Agents, the Florida Farm Bureau, the Florida Cattleman’s Association and Epsilon Sigma Phi, the Extension Professionals’ Organization. He received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents in 1970.

Beyond all the awards and achievements, he was a godly family man who always put his family and faith first. He adored spending time with his children and taking them to football games at the University of Florida as they were growing up. He enjoyed woodworking and hosting family and friends every summer at his beloved mountain house in Cashiers, North Carolina. He always looked forward to taking his grandsons whitewater rafting, putting together jigsaw puzzles at night with his grandchildren, grilling barbecue chicken for the family potluck, walking down to the ball field to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July, chopping a lifetime supply of firewood, playing Mexican Train with his siblings (and laughing so loud the entire mountain could hear) and sharing stories with those he loved most, not knowing how much those stories would be cherished and retold to younger generations for years to come.

EJ will be reunited in heaven with his parents, Edward Joshua and Ida Mae Gilchrist Cowen; his brothers, William Joshua, Daniel “Dan” Gilchrist and Sydney “Spurge” Spurgeon Cowen; his sister, Elizabeth “Liz” Mae (Cowen) Zorn; his great-granddaughter, Lily James Cowen and countless other family members and friends. ​

His memory will continue to live on through the love of his life and devoted wife of 70 years, Frances Elizabeth (Brown) Cowen; his son, Edward James “Jim” II and Linda Faye (Williamson) Cowen of Benjamin, Texas; his daughter, Linda Frances (Cowen) and Bruce Ralph of Cantonment, FL; their grandchildren Edward James “Jake” III and Jessen Cowen, Jamie Ralph, Jack and Carrie Cowen, Jaclyn Ralph; his great-grandchildren, Edward James IV, Jack Jr. and Mary Charles Cowen; his brothers, Joseph “Joe” Frederick and Kenneth “Ken” Alexander Cowen; his sister Mary Emma (Cowen) Bassett along with countless other nieces, nephews and cousins.

No visitation will be held. Services were held on Monday, November 30 at 11:00 AM at Pensacola Memorial Gardens. Due to COVID-19, there was an intimate graveside service for his family. In lieu of flowers, for those who wish, donations may be made in memoriam to one of the following organizations EJ so proudly supported: St. Mark United Methodist Church, Florida 4-H Foundation and his nephew’s family, who are missionaries in Peru, tax-deductible donations for whom can be sent to:

Central Missionary Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, TX 77218-9228

Please include the names “Vann and Vanessa Brock” on a note before mailing.

The family also wants to extend their gratitude to the wonderful nurses, aids and other healthcare professionals who went above and beyond to ensure EJ was comfortable and well cared for over the past few weeks. A special thanks to Nurse Hannah, ICU at West Florida Hospital, Nurse Meredith, Nurse Becky and Nurse Practitioner Kasey, Covenant Hospice West Florida Hospital, Shantrelle, Tracey and all the aids and nurses from Your Life Memory Care.

  1. William Timmons says:

    A wonderful servant too all mankind! Had Godly ancestors also which he portrayed! My condolences to family and friends!

  2. Jewel Barrington says:

    The Barrington family will long remember and always cherish the time spent with E.J and his family. His presence will certainly be missed.

  3. Carol McKinney West says:

    This family is fondly remembered by Dixie County friends! True servant

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