Irene Margaret Cowan, 92 of McCleary, Washington passed away on Monday June 7th at Summit Pacific Hospital in Elma, WA.
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Irene was born in Columbus, Ohio to Anthony and Julia Vukovitz. Her favorite childhood memory was finally being old enough to be excused from the weekly family car rides on Sundays and instead being allowed to sit through a double feature at the local movie house. Just a nickel bought her an exciting all-day escape from her car sickness struggles. She graduated from South High School and took night classes for three years at Franklin University. Irene worked as a secretary and especially enjoyed working as a legal secretary.
In 1959 a friend arranged a blind date with “Russ” Cowan. Shoney’s Strawberry pie was involved. Irene returned home and announced to her mother that she had just “met the man she would marry.” Sure enough, Irene and Russ were married the following year and settled in Columbus. The pie would become a fixture of their date nights. Russ would soon be transferred to Chicago, where son David was born, and in 1967 to Washington, D.C. The young family settled outside Washington in Fairfax. Irene enjoyed her small circle of friends in the subdivision and took pride in her home, especially the landscaping. Neighbors from blocks away would come by in the summer to see her huge row of dozens and dozens of beautiful red rose bushes.
Irene eventually followed David to Montana and then to Washington where she was a visible resident of the Beehive Retirement Community. Usually introverted, Irene would become an extrovert with a little rock & roll as a catalyst. The cover band hired to play the annual Beehive summer barbeque was helpless to prevent her from grabbing the mic and belting out lead vocals on a couple of tunes.
Irene was preceded in death by her sister Yolan, and husband “Russ”. She is survived by her son David of McCleary and daughter-in-law Jackie Loeser.
She will be buried along side Russ in a simple graveside ceremony at 1pm on Monday June 21st at Fairfax Memorial Park, Fairfax, Virginia. No visitation is planned. In lieu of flowers, those who wish can make a donation in Irene’s memory to their local animal shelter.