James Cowan

Obituary of James Gibbs Cowan

Eugene – James “Jamie” Cowan, a long-time resident of Eugene, Oregon passed away on

September 18th, 2023 from respiratory failure at the age of 72.


Jamie was born July 1st 1951 and spent his childhood growing up in Summit, New Jersey. After graduating from Summit High School in 1970, he went on to attend Bloomfield College. He married Mary Lou Osterbye in 1976. They lived in Wall Township where their two daughters, Kristen and Alexis, were born. The family loved going to the beach at Long Island State Park and Jenkinson’s Arcade where they played boardwalk games and ate kielbasa sausages to the beat of “The Boss” playing in the background.


Jamie was a foreman for Proctor Baker, a sandblasting and commercial coatings company. He ran crews regionally for twenty years. In 1993 he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Having divorced earlier, and with his daughters then living in Georgia, he decided to relocate. He moved to Eugene, Oregon so he could be closer to his sister and her family. He drove to Oregon stopping at National Parks to take scenic and wildlife photographs which he displayed in his home.


Jamie spent the next fifteen years devoting much of his time to volunteering. For several years he cooked breakfast at St. Jude’s Catholic Church for the Interfaith Shelter. Next, he volunteered for Food for Lane County delivering food boxes, and he also helped in The Dining Room. Once his MS progressed and he could no longer walk unassisted, he moved to staffing the phones for FISH for Central Presbyterian Church. Jamie’s life-long passions included spending time at the beach, going to festivals, watching movies, and indulging all dogs, but most of all he loved spending time with his daughters and grandchildren.


He was predeceased by his parents James and Louise Cowan, Jr. He is survived by his sister Barbara Cowan (Richard Larson), two daughters Kristen Couey (Michael) and Alexis Carpenter (Matt) and his seven grandchildren Scarlett, Savannah, Kaydence, Emilee, Annabelle, Brylee and Collin.


Jamie’s ashes will be interred at the Eugene Masonic Cemetery on June 9th at 2pm. A gathering of family and friends will follow.


Jamie’s family is grateful to the staff at Timber Pointe Assisted Living for the care he received during his last five years of life.

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