Obituaries » Mary Alice Cowden

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Mary Alice Cowden

June 6, 2021

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Mary Alice Cowden, age 85, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 6, 2021. Mary passed suddenly with her husband Charles at her side. Mary and Charles have been married for 63 years.

Mary was the daughter of the late George and Alice Northcott. She grew up with her older brother, George Northcott, in Downers Grove, Illinois. After graduating High School in 1953, she attended  Illinois Wesleyan University where she studied music with a focus on piano and vocals.

Mary met Charles “Chuck” Cowden on a blind date in 1954 and they were married in August of 1957 in Downers Grove, Illinois. After graduating college in 1958, Chuck and Mary moved to West Chicago where Chuck became an Industrial Arts teacher at West Chicago Community High School. Mary taught music for the next five years in Bensenville, Illinois.

Early in their marriage, Mary overcame significant medical challenges to include the loss of one kidney. Then in 1965, Chuck and Mary adopted infant twins (Carol and Mark). Mary documented the day of adoption as her “favorite day ever”. From that moment forward, she aspired to be the best mom ever.

In addition to raising her two children and being a loving, caring wife, Mary continued in her passion for music as a substitute music teacher in West Chicago. She found true joy in teaching private piano lessons to many of the youth of the West Chicago area and celebrated her students’ accomplishments with annual recitals each year. For many years, Mary found time to be the choir director at First Methodist Church and then later at Faith Community Church, both in the West Chicago.

Chuck and Mary continued to live in West Chicago, spending each of their summers in Door County, Wisconsin. In 1995, they moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina and continued making the annual summer trip to Door County up until the past few years. During their time in Hendersonville, they were members of Covenant Presbyterian Church where Mary once again served as Choir Director and Pianist. In September of 2020, Chuck and Mary moved to Lynchburg, Virginia to be closer to family. Since moving to Lynchburg, they have lived at the Summitt Retirement Community.

Mary’s love of the Lord and her beautiful spirit has touched many people over the course of her life. She has been a true witness in both in her words and in her actions. She has been a bright light in this world and always gave glory to God on all occasions. She leaves a legacy of loving her Lord and her family with all of her heart.

Mary is survived by her brother George Northcott, her husband Chuck Cowden, and their two children, Mark Cowden and Carol Harvey. Mary is also survived by her four grandchildren; Shawn Cowden, Elizabeth Parris, Ryan Cowden, and Rachel Harvey.

Mary’s memorial service will be held at Tharp Funeral Home in Lynchburg, Virginia at 3 PM on 12 June, 2021. The family is grateful for your prayers and support as they celebrate the life, and now the homecoming of Mary into her Lord’s presence.’

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