Obituaries: Willis Cowles

OTTUMWA – Willis Scott Cowles, 95, a resident of Vista Woods Care Center, died at 3:39 a.m. May 6, 2017 at the Ottumwa Regional Care Center. His wife of 72 years, Marjorie Marie Cowles, preceded him in death on March 22, 2014.

Willis was born on February 3, 1922, to Charles G. Cowles and Elsie C. (Turnbull) Cowles. He was the youngest of their 13 children. (Willis was often heard to say he didn’t know a chicken had any parts other than a neck until his older brothers and sisters had left home.) All his siblings have also preceded him in death.

Although without a great deal of formal education, Willis became very knowledgeable in several financial and technical fields. Willis and Marjorie owned and operated Cowles TV & Appliance, which at the time was the largest TV and Appliance store in Southeast Iowa. In addition, Willis was a successful real estate investor and was a member of the investment group responsible for bringing Cable TV to Ottumwa for the first time.

Willis is survived by his two sons, Dale L. (Mary Rae) Cowles of Bellevue, Wash., and Doyle L. (Lori M.) Cowles of Dubuque, Iowa; five grandchildren, Sabrina Hickel, Casey Cowles, Mikaela Judd, Tasha Cowles, and Amanda Willard; and seven great-grandchildren, Meghan, Ryan, and Riley Hickel, Olivia and Kaleb Willard, and Andrew and Alexander Cowles-Hackett.

A devout follower of Jesus all his adult life, Willis was a member of Calvary Baptist Church. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at Calvary Baptist Church, Pastor Mel Kendall officiating. Willis will be buried beside his wife, Marjorie, at Memorial Lawn Cemetery.

Visitation begins at11 a.m. Tuesday at Reece Funeral Home. The family will be present from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church.