Our beloved wife, mother, and dear friend, Ellen Marie Theresa Cowden was called by the Lord Monday, May 27, 2019. She was born in New York City on February 26, 1940. Ellen was raised by her grandmother who died when she was 16 years old. She inherited her grandmother’s love of singing. She fondly recalled singing songs as a child with her family. She loved the city and loved to dance. The family moved to Southern California after her grandmother’s death. There she attended St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, California. It was here she met 2 lifelong friends, Dixie Adams (Cowden) and Sally Byers. Dixie would introduce her to her future husband, Bob. She worked as a telephone operator after graduation.
Bob and Ellen wed in 1965 and settled in Hawthorne, California. They had their son, Matthew the following year and their daughter Gretchen 20 months later. After Gretchen was born she quit her job at the telephone company where she was the All Night Manager. She stayed at home with the children until they were older. Ellen loved being a mother. Bob’s work took the family overseas and Ellen made many friends along the way. This sparked her love of travel. Ellen had the gift of gab and never met a stranger. After returning to California Ellen began working at their school and substitute teaching. She loved it. She went back to school for her Bachelor’s degree and settled in as a fourth grade teacher. She touched many lives.
By retirement she was the school’s Assistant Principal. Bob & Ellen enjoyed many years of retirement in their RV. They travelled throughout the United States and to Alaska many times. They retired to Newport, Oregon in 1996. There Ellen joined Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Her love of music drew her to the church choir where she sang for many years. It was in the choir where she met Evelyn who introduced her to the Oregon Coast Chorus chapter of Sweet Adeline’s International. She fell in love with the group and joyfully sang for many years. Here she found her second family and travelled throughout the states attending regional and international competitions. Her 2 trips to the international stage as part of the family chorus brought her much joy.
She was a two time winner of the group’s Woman of the Year honor, most recently in 2019. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Bob, her son, Matthew (Middleton, ID), her daughter Gretchen (Star, ID), her loving friend and sister-in-law, Dixie Adams, many close friends, and her sisters in harmony. While her time on earth was cut short she will remain in our hearts forever.
Funeral arrangements are through Bateman Funeral Home. A memorial mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Monday, June 3rd at 10AM with a reception to follow.