Hollis Joseph Cowen Sr.

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Funeral services for Hollis Joseph Cowen Sr. are 11 a.m. onTuesday, Jan. 25, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church inBrookhaven, with interment to follow in Wesson Cemetery in Wesson.Brookhaven Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Visitation was Monday from 5 until 8 p.m. at the funeralhome.

Mr. Cowen, 85, died after a long illness on Jan. 23, 2011, athis residence in Wesson. He was born in Ponchatoula, La. on Dec. 8,1925 to Stephen and Pauline Cowen.

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He attended school in Ponchatoula and New Orleans, and wasvaledictorian of his senior class. In 1943 Cowen married his highschool sweetheart, Belle Vinyard, and joined the Marines.

He served his country in the Pacific and was of the first waveof Marines to hit Okinawa on April 1, 1945. He was one of the first15 Marines to enter China. While in China, he learned he waseligible for discharge and hitchhiked to the states via ships andplanes, arriving home on Christmas Eve in 1945.

In 1946, he and his family moved to Wesson where he became thebusiness manager of Cowen Chevrolet. In 1957, he became theChevrolet dealer. During his 51 years as a businessman in Wesson,Cowen served on the board of directors of the Bank of Wesson and onthe Trustmark board for 21 years.

He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the AmericanLegion for 64 years. He was a 50-year member of the Wesson LionsClub and served as president twice. He was also a member of theWesson Chamber of Commerce and received the Good Citizen Award in1997.

Cowen was an active member of St. Francis of Assisi CatholicChurch in Brookhaven where he served as Eucharistic Minister,Parish Council President and usher. He was also a member of theKnights of Columbus.

Preceding him in death were his parents; his son, Hollis J.Cowen, Jr.; his sister, Mildred Brunet; and his brothers, StephenA., Louis and Everett Cowen.

Survivors are his wife of 67 years, Belle Vinyard; his grandson,Hollis J. Cowen, III (Trey), of Wesson; his granddaughter, KatrinaSmith and husband, Lane, of Flagstaff, Ariz.; his daughter-in-law,Sonya White Cowen, of Wesson; and a number of nieces andnephews.