Janice May Cowan (1935 - 2018)

Obituary
3 entries
  • "Jan was one of my best friends, she was there for me on..."
    - Betty Van Voorhis
  • "Jan was a friend to many and extremely generous of her..."
    - Mahmood Sheikh
  • "No day will ever pass by, without me thinking of you. I..."
    - Bob Cowan
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JANICE MAY HALE COWAN
August 9, 1935 ~ March 8, 2018

Janice May Hale was born August 9, 1935 in Preston, Idaho. She passed away March 8, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Janice attended school in Pocatello, Idaho and graduated from the University of Idaho in 1957.
She married Bob Cowan (AKA Papas Fritas) on August 2, 1958. Janice moved to the Portland, Oregon area with Bob and baby David and taught school for a year in West Linn, Oregon, before retiring to become a full time homemaker. Catherine and Roberta came along in the early 60's and the family was complete. Janice made a house a home that welcomed family and friends to visit. Her home was always fun central with the children's friends congregating at the house for a variety of activities.
In the mid 70's, Bob's career changes took her and the family to Chicago for two years, then San Francisco and finally to the Tri-Cities, Washington area. She was at home wherever she went. She never complained and was always the "go to" person in any group with which she was involved.
Janice excelled at everything she did. She was President of her Alpha Chi Sorority, was the originator and leader of the first Vandalettes Marching Team at the University of Idaho and served as President of the University of Idaho Foundation Board. She was a member of the University of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame and was honored to have the Idaho Basketball facility, Cowan Spectrum, named for her and Bob's contributions to the University.
Janice was an avid and fiercely competitive bridge player and golfer. She married into a golfing family and, never having played before, became the best golfer in the family, winning the club championship at Diablo CC in the late 70's. In addition, she restored furniture and was an exceptional cook, artist and negotiator.
In retirement, Janice and Bob spent winters in Manzanillo, Mexico and summers in Island Park, Idaho. As Janice always did, she made many new life long friends in both places. Janice enjoyed traveling, particularly with her daughters, daughter-in-law and granddaughters. She traveled to South Africa on a Safari, cruised along the European Coast and vacationed in Tahiti. She flew on both the fastest commercial jet, the Super Sonic Concorde, and the largest, the Airbus 380. She rode the Orient Express, and enjoyed memorable trips to Turkey, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
In 2017, the autobiography "The Spud" was written by Bob and dedicated to Janice. The dedication reflects the love Bob and Jan had for each other as well as the role Janice played in helping redefine American business, from agriculture to restaurants throughout America and far beyond. This dedication in part reads:
"When I met Janice Hale in the 1950's, on the University of Idaho campus, I not only fell in love, but discovered a perfect partner for the rest of my life. With great intelligence and fine instincts, she smoothed my rough edges, brought up the beautiful family we created together, and made my intense pursuit of success possible. She made our home a soulful and peaceful place, filled with kids who made us both proud. I was able to campaign in the business world like an ambitious young general. The love she invested in our home life made me capable of dedicating myself to opportunities that would enhance both of our lives, as well as those of our children, and now their children too. Janice, these things could not have happened as they did without you."
Janice is survived by her husband, Bob; children, David (Julie), Catherine (Bill) and Roberta; sisters, Barbara and Charlyne; grandchildren, Alex, Marissa, Hanna, Bobby, Trent, Avery and Rosa; and great-grandchild, Miles.
A Celebration of Life party will be held in Island Park, Idaho on August 11.
The family has requested that donations, in lieu of flowers, be sent to any Alzheimer's Medical Research Foundation or to the in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Please sign her guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits.
Published in The Columbian on Apr. 8, 2018
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