|Birth: ||Jul. 5, 1894|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Jan. 27, 1955|
North Carolina, USA
Matt Ransom Coward was born on 5 July 1894 in Webster, NC, the youngest of four sons born to Oscar Boman Coward (1859-1937) and Emma Kathryn Long Coward (1871-1896). His mother died when he was but 2-years old. He later joined the Merchant Marine and spent many years as ship's captain, including WWII. He was married to Elda Lenore Hubbard (1903-1996). They did not have children. He succumbed to cancer on 27 January 1955 in Sylva, NC at the age of 60. He was interred by his parents at Webster Cemetery.
OBITUARY: Matt Ransom Coward (1894-1955)
M.R. COWARD, RETIRED SEA CAPTAIN, BURIED AT WEBSTER
Funeral rites for Captain M.R. Coward, 60, retired Merchant Marine ship captain, who died Thursday afternoon, January 27, 1955 in the C.J. Harris Hospital after a brief illness, were held Saturday, January 29th at 2:00 p.m. in the Webster Methodist church.
The Rev. A.G. Amuck, pastor, and the Rev. R.T. Houts, pastor of Highlands-Cashiers Methodist churches, and the Rev. R.E. Bell, pastor of Sylva Methodist Church, officiated. Burial with military graveside rites was in the Webster Cemetery.
Glenn Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
The body lay in state at the church for thirty minutes prior to the service.
Active pallbearers were members of the local U.S. Navel Reserve Corps of Sylva, including commanding officer, Lt. Frank Brown Jr., Commander T.D. Slagle, Ensign Quinn Constantz, Chief Warrant Officer C.H. Thomas, Commander C.L. Clark of Asheville, and Major C.C. Pettit of Sylva, of the U.S. Marines Corps.
Honorary pallbearers were Lloyd Cowan, Willard Davenport, James E. Reed, and Raymond Nicholson Jr., members of the local Naval Reserve unit.
Surviving are the widow, Mrs. Elda Hibbard Coward; one brother, James O. Coward of Jacksonville, Florida, and one half-sister, Mrs. Charles E. (Dixie) English of Asheville.
Born at Webster , July 5, 1894, he was the son of the late Oscar B. and Emma Long Coward. Captain Coward gained fame for his World War II exploits against Nazi submarines in the English Channel and the Caribbean Sea.
Forsaking his native mountains in early life he went to sea and remained to amass a brilliant record as skipper of a dozen ships on every sea and ocean through peacetime and three wars.
Some time within the next few days his name will go up on a plaque in the Marine Society clubroom in New York, at which he was a member, and a star will be placed beside it, a salute to him from men who still live to sail ships.
In 1950 he retired, but he could not forget the sea or the service in which he had served. He came back to North Carolina and Jackson County and settled besides a lake where his ship was a flat bottom boat.
A few months later, he helped organize U.S. Naval Reserve Unit NRCC 6-36 here in Sylva, serving as commander until last July, when his health forced him into complete retirement.
He was a member of the Lambs Club of New York.
Out-of-town relatives and friends here for the funeral included Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. English, Gloria and Jule Coward, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene English, and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Dockery, all of Asheville; Mr. and Mrs. James O. Coward, Jacksonville, Florida; Linden Coward, Ware Shoals, S.C.; Glenn Coward, Belton, S.C., Chris Coward, Canton; Mrs. Minnie Wilde, Bryson City; Mrs. Beulah Henson, Waynesville; Mr. and Mrs. R.I. Patrick and son, Dick, Atlanta, Georgia.
(Sylva Herald, Sylva, North Carolina, Thursday, 3 February 1955)
Oscar Boman Coward (1859 - 1937)
Emma Kathryn Long Coward (1871 - 1896)
Elda Lenore Hibbard Coward (1903 - 1996)
Claude C. Coward (1886 - 1935)*
John Burke Coward (1889 - 1914)*
James Oscar Coward (1892 - 1978)*
Matt Ransom Coward (1894 - 1955)
Dixie Dean Coward English (1900 - 1995)**
Rogers Zachary Coward (1903 - 1950)**
North Carolina, USA
Maintained by: David Coward
Originally Created by: mjmclain
Record added: Mar 30, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50448010