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Robert “Bob” Cowden of Joseph died May 10, 2006, at his son’s home in Davis, Calif. He was 74.
Mr. Cowden was born Oct. 8, 1931, in Oakland, Calif., to Earl and Margaret Cowden. He spent vacations as a child with his grandparents on their coffee plantation in Managua, Nicaragua. He graduated from Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., in 1950. He then enrolled at the University of California at Davis, but his education was put on hold because of the Korean War. After completing a tour in the Navy he returned to the university. It was there he met and married Diane Kessler.
While a student in the two-year animal husbandry program at Davis, he was employed part-time in the Department of Agricultural Engineering. Soon, he joined the Cal Aggie Flying Farmers and soon got his pilot license. While a member of that organization he served one term as president in 1960-61.
During his career with the University, he was involved in large-scale forest service programs in Montana and New Mexico, orchard spray projects, mosquito abatement, spraying with pheromones, air pollution and various pesticide application studies throughout California. Mr. Cowden was actively involved in aquatic activities from the early 1960s to the mid-1980s. After 30 years with the university, he and his wife Diane moved to Joseph, where they lived at Wallowa Lake.
Shortly after moving to the county Bob served as an advisory board member of the Wallowa Lake County Water and Sewer District. He joined Chief Joseph Flyers and until recently served as maintenance officer for the club. In addition to flying he enjoyed fishing, mushrooming and hunting, but his primary interest for the past 10 years was trapshooting. As a member of the Wallowa Rod and Gun Club, he and his wife traveled to many competitions in the northwest. In 2003 he was named to the Oregon American Trap shooters Association’s all-star team and was on the Oregon State ATA teams in 2004 and 2005.
He is survived by his wife Diane of Joseph and Davis, Calif.; son Steve and daughter-in-law Ann of Petaluma, Calif.; son Dave of Corte Madera, Calif.; son Ron and daughter-in-law Sherri of Davis, Calif.; grandchildren Ashlan, Neal, Kevin and Ross; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Bill and Lyn Kessler of Enterprise; nephews Troy and Mark Cowden, Brian and Curt Kessler and niece Lisa Echols.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Don.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Celebrations of his life will be held in Davis and later in the summer at Wallowa Lake.
Wallowa County Chieftain, May 18, 2006 (Photo with obituary)
Robert Cowden, 74, of Joseph died May 10 in Davis, Calif., at the home of his son. A celebrations of his life will be held in Davis and again in the summer at Wallowa Lake.
Mr. Cowden was born Oct. 8, 1931, to Earl and Margaret Cowden in Oakland, Calif. He spent vacations with his grandparents on their coffee plantation in Managua, Nicaragua. He graduated from high school in Lafayette, Calif., in 1950, and served in the Navy during the Korean War. He married Diane Kessler and graduated from the University of Californa at Davis.
He worked for the university Department of Agricultural Engineering and retired after 30 years. He got a pilot’s licence and joined the Cal Aggie Flying Farmers, serving as president in 1960-61.
During his career with the university, he was involved in large-scale Forest Service programs in Montana and New Mexico, orchard spray projects, mosquito abatement, spraying with pheromones, air pollution and various pesticide application studies in California.
He was a supporter of youth competitive swimming, and was one of the first members of the Davis Aquatic Masters.
In 1986 and he and his wife moved to Wallowa Lake. He served on the Wallowa Lake County Water and Sewer District and joined the Chief Joseph Flyers for whom he was maintenance officer. He enjoyed fishing, mushrooming, hunting and trapshooting. He was a member of the Wallowa Rod and Gun Club and was named to the Oregon ATA All-Star Team and the Oregon ATA teams in 2004 and 2005.
Survivors include his wife of Joseph; children and their spouses, Steve and Ann Cowden of Petaluma, Calif., Dave Cowden of Corte Madera, Calif., and Ron and Sherri Cowden of Davis; four grandchildren; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Bill and Lyn Kessler of Enterprise and other relatives. A brother, Don Cowden, died earlier.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society.
La Grande Observer – Obituaries for the week ending May 20, 2006 – Published: May 22, 2006