Bernard Dewayne Cowan, 77 of Carthage died at 4:45 p.m. Sunday, June 24, 2012, at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo., following a short illness.
Dewayne was born April 21, 1935, in Jasper County to Herbert and Naamah Cowan. His family moved when he was a young boy to Bakersfield, Calif., where his father found work at a dairy farm. He said his family often referred to those days as their own personal “Grapes of Wrath.”
They later moved back to the area where he attended Golden City schools, and graduated in 1953 from Carthage High School. Dewayne often mentioned his graduation as his sister, Dixie, who had skipped a grade, was the class valedictorian, while he was the class salutatorian. He always conceded that she rightly earned the top spot as she had been the smarter of the two. It was the only time in Carthage School history a brother and sister were top in their classes.
Dewayne married his sweetheart, Nancy Melugin of Carterville in 1956. She survives.
Dewayne worked as a draftsman for the Carthage Marble Corporation. Later in life, he changed careers and went into business with his friend, Dale Wickstrom, as a co-owner of Midwest Ag in Carthage. After his retirement there, he continued working until 1995 as a marble estimator for Locarni Marble. Dewayne raised registered Shorthorn cattle for many years of his life, and he and his wife enjoyed traveling in the western part of United States, hooking up the travel trailer and heading off toward Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. He also was an avid reader of Zane Grey, Louis L’amour and Robert Parker.
Dewayne survived a battle with bladder cancer in 2009, often praising his doctors Bruce Chosney and Robert Carter, as the “real deal.”
In addition to his wife, Dewayne is survived by his three daughters, Carol Stark of Joplin, Diana Adams and her husband Dave and Marcia Snyder and her husband Pat all of Carthage, two sisters, Dixie Edwards and her husband, Don of Lake Charles, La, and Virginia Payne and her husband, Jim of Lee’s Summit, Mo, eight grandchildren, Craig Stark, Carthage; Joe Stark, Ozark; Adam Buster, Oronogo; Zachary Thornton, Carthage; Katie Snyder, Pittsburg, Kan.; Emily Snyder, Springfield; and Levi and Jennie Snyder, both of Carthage and seven great grandchildren.
Graveside services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at Fasken Cemetery, northeast of Carthage. The body will lie in state from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at the Ulmer Funeral Home. Contributions may be made to Fasken Cemetery in care of the Ulmer Funeral Home. On line condolences may be sent at www.ulmerfh.com. Arrangements are under the direction of the Ulmer Funeral Home.