Joe Donald Cowan went to be with the Lord on Friday, July 8, 2016. Joe was born in Hamlin, Texas on September 24, 1939 to David Wood and Edith Loise Lewis Cowan. He married his high school sweetheart, Cecilia Albritton Cowan, on August 20, 1960. He is preceded in death by his parents and his older brother, David. He is survived by his wife, Cel and his children, Craig and Jill Cowan of Lamesa, Texas, Thom and Celia Fulmer of Austin, Texas, Chad and Holly Cowan of Anson, Texas, and Christian and Toni Cowan of Brandon, Mississippi; his brother, Max Cowan, Ruidoso, NM, and his sister, Patricia Whiteley, Cedar Hill, TX. He is also survived by his nine precious grandchildren, Davis, Emma, Campbell, Anna, Justiss, Boyd, Samuel, Randy Joe, and Haley.
Joe was a small town boy at heart, growing up in Celotex and Hamlin. He attended Hamlin High School where he met his future wife, Cel. They attended college at North Texas State University. Joe and Cel were married at First Baptist Church of Hamlin. They began their marriage together in Dallas where they had their firstborn son, Craig. Joe worked for Henson-Kickernick. He later transferred to Lexington, Mississippi to pursue his career. He and Cel had Celia and Chad while living there and made many life-long friendships. In 1972, they returned to Hamlin to join his father-in-law, Henry Albritton, in the family business. They had Christian in Hamlin in 1973. Joe worked for Albritton Motor Company until 1990. He later joined Lawrence Hall Motors in Abilene, Texas, where he finished his career in the car business. He retired in 2005.
Joe enjoyed all life in Hamlin had to offer. He could hunt, fish, and golf just a few minutes from home. He and his friends, sons and grandsons played golf together for many years, hunted anything that moved, and fished at a nearby tank. He never liked to leave home but would do it to please his beloved wife, Cel. His nine grandchildren were the jewels in his crown. He would say that he was a better grandfather than a father. He took them on beach trips, hosted Camp Cowan for their grand kids in the summers, babysat whenever any of the kids asked, and traveled to watch any one of them play a sport. He treasured every minute with them as he watched them grow, and he did a wonderful job to make sure they knew they were important to him.
His family has always been an active part of FBC Hamlin, finding friendships, love, and acceptance by that community of believers. Joe would tell you that The Lord changed his life in 2009 when he was faced with the death of his older brother and the threat of his own prostate cancer. He fell on his knees in his backyard and asked Jesus to carry him through that difficult time. Joe would be the first to tell you that he received undeserved forgiveness and grace the minute he cried out to the Lord. He became more involved with FBC Hamlin, found encouraging, authentic friendships, started reading his Bible, and attended studies to help him to grow in his faith. He treasured his Thursday morning Bible study friends. He and Cel would help the church with Awanas on Wednesday nights and enjoyed encouraging and loving the kids. Joe served his community by being on the city council for a term, serving on the Hamlin Hospital Board for ten years, and being a member of the Lion's Club.
He will be greatly missed by many, especially his wife and family. He taught them many things throughout this life, but the greatest thing he taught them was that Jesus is always waiting for them with open arms. Joe is with Him now rejoicing in heaven and playing golf on the greenest course he has ever seen!
Joe's Celebration of Life service will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2016 at First Baptist Church, Hamlin, directed by Adams-Foster-Ray Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests to make donations to First Baptist Church, Hamlin. P.O. Box 8, Hamlin, Texas 79520