Edwin Ray Cowgill, 78, of Spokane Valley, Washington passed away peacefully on May 10, 2020 of natural causes at the Hospice House of North Idaho, Coeur d’Alene.
Ed was born on April 15, 1942, in Burlington, Wyoming to William “Bill” and Nell (Nicholson) Cowgill, the third child of four children. His eldest sister Elizabeth died as an infant. Ed grew up in Byron, Wyoming, and often shared many heartwarming stories of his childhood. His “Grandma Nich” lived next door to the family and as a boy, Ed helped her out by doing chores. She loved hearing him whistle while he worked, always the cheerful helper. He also enjoyed doing several projects with his Uncle Bill (his mother's brother) including making a microscope out of camera lenses strong enough to see amoebas. Then there was the time they accidentally set the school yard on fire when the rocket they were launching tipped over and streaked across the dry field. Ed was an athlete in high school, lettering all four years in football. He graduated from Byron High School in 1960 and then took courses at nearby Powell University, now Northwest College. His studies were zoology, and daredevil hijinks.
Ed was drafted into the United States Army’s infantry and served with honor from 1963 – 65. He was stationed at the Panama Canal and guarded the Marines as their ships traversed the Canal on their way to Vietnam.
After his military service was completed, Ed worked in construction as an iron worker on various projects around Wyoming and Montana, including a family construction business with his father and brother. He eventually transitioned to a sales career, which he held until his retirement.
In 1969 he married Elizabeth Bernice Scott (Olson) and started a family. During those years, Ed enjoyed caring for his family, boating on Flathead Lake in Montana, and keeping meticulous care of his yard, especially his rose bushes. In 1987 he moved to Spokane, Washington and after his marriage ended, met and committed to his love of 28 years, Cathy Wolfrum (Corsmo). They enjoyed many adventures together over the years including travel, golf, wine making, attending UW Husky football games, summers at Guemes Island, and hosting numerous large family gatherings.
To those who knew him, Ed was an exceptionally strong man, not just in body but in heart as well. He overcame many health challenges during his life including cancer. These experiences enlarged his already robust compassion for others. One example of his character is the time that he had finished his chemotherapy treatment and was declared cancer-free. Nonetheless, he continued to visit the chemotherapy clinic, sitting on the edge of each patient's bed, and encouraged them by showing that he got through it and so could they.
Who was Ed Cowgill? He was fierce in his love, so proud of his kids and grandkids, sentimental and nostalgic, protective, sometimes corny, staunch Democrat, Christian believer, loyal friend, lover of nature, a warm bear hug, a very good man.
Ed is survived by his partner Cathy Wolfrum, daughter Melissa Rooney and husband Dan, son Christopher Cowgill and wife Stormy, step-daughter Stephanie Weeks and husband Todd, step-son Erik Wolfrum and wife Jessie, grandchildren Isak Jacobson, Andrew and Jack Weeks, Oscar and Jake Cowgill, Jordan Revey, Erik and Luke Wolfrum, brother Keith Cowgill and wife Janet, sister Nita Kison and husband Bob, as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.
The family makes the following suggestions for donations if so desired:
Hospice House of North Idaho www.hospiceofnorthidaho.org , Michael J. Fox Foundation www.michaeljfox.org , and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society www.lls.org