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Gen Alvin Ethelbert Cowan II

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Gen Alvin Ethelbert Cowan II

Birth
Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Death
27 Oct 2005 (aged 87)
Winter Park, Orange County, Florida, USA
Burial
Winter Park, Orange County, Florida, USA Add to Map
Memorial ID
View Source
COWAN, ALVIN ETHELBERT, PH.D, BRIGADIER GENERAL was born in Ensley, AL on September 8, 1918 to the late Dr. Alvin E. Cowan and Lela Loretta Chiles. He was educated at Gulf Coast Military Academy, where he was the 1935 Honor Graduate, but just a few months too young to accept the West Point appointment. He received his BS, MS, and Ph.D (Physics) at the University of Texas, receiving his MS and Ph.D simultaneously in 1952. He served in WWII in the North Africa and Italian campaigns, participated in the Einewetok nuclear tests, attended the Army War College, spent one year in Korea, served briefly in Viet Nam, and retired from the Army as a Brigadier General after 31 years of distinguished military service. He received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, and Distinguished Service Medal. When promoted to General, it was commented that he was one of few at the time to become a general who had not graduated from West Point and one of few still to have a Ph.D and in Physics! Late in his military career the Army allowed him to go to both jump school and flight school.

After retiring from the Army, he worked for Martin Marietta and later had his own government consulting business.

Survivors include his widow, Virginia "Jean" (Skelly) Cowan of Orlando and former wife, Winniefred (Anderson) Cowan (Austin, TX); daughter, Margaret Cowan (Reston, VA); son, Alvin Cowan III, (Austin, TX); stepsons, Dr. John E. Graham, and Ladd Graham; five grandchildren, Lara MacDonald (Alpharetta, GA), James Reinauer (Fort Worth, TX), Alvin Reinauer (Hawaii), Beth and Alvin Cowan, IV (Austin, TX); six great grandchildren, Ashley, Amber, and Anna MacDonald; James (III), Conner, and Grant Reinauer; one cousin, Richard Morland (Deland, FL); and several step-grandchildren.

A brother, John Newton Cowan, preceded him in death in January 1945, from a Kamakazi attack while manning his battle station aboard the USS Ticonderoga. He was buried at sea.

Contributions can be made in his memory to the South Dallas Historical Preservation Association for restoration of the ancestral family church.
COWAN, ALVIN ETHELBERT, PH.D, BRIGADIER GENERAL was born in Ensley, AL on September 8, 1918 to the late Dr. Alvin E. Cowan and Lela Loretta Chiles. He was educated at Gulf Coast Military Academy, where he was the 1935 Honor Graduate, but just a few months too young to accept the West Point appointment. He received his BS, MS, and Ph.D (Physics) at the University of Texas, receiving his MS and Ph.D simultaneously in 1952. He served in WWII in the North Africa and Italian campaigns, participated in the Einewetok nuclear tests, attended the Army War College, spent one year in Korea, served briefly in Viet Nam, and retired from the Army as a Brigadier General after 31 years of distinguished military service. He received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, and Distinguished Service Medal. When promoted to General, it was commented that he was one of few at the time to become a general who had not graduated from West Point and one of few still to have a Ph.D and in Physics! Late in his military career the Army allowed him to go to both jump school and flight school.

After retiring from the Army, he worked for Martin Marietta and later had his own government consulting business.

Survivors include his widow, Virginia "Jean" (Skelly) Cowan of Orlando and former wife, Winniefred (Anderson) Cowan (Austin, TX); daughter, Margaret Cowan (Reston, VA); son, Alvin Cowan III, (Austin, TX); stepsons, Dr. John E. Graham, and Ladd Graham; five grandchildren, Lara MacDonald (Alpharetta, GA), James Reinauer (Fort Worth, TX), Alvin Reinauer (Hawaii), Beth and Alvin Cowan, IV (Austin, TX); six great grandchildren, Ashley, Amber, and Anna MacDonald; James (III), Conner, and Grant Reinauer; one cousin, Richard Morland (Deland, FL); and several step-grandchildren.

A brother, John Newton Cowan, preceded him in death in January 1945, from a Kamakazi attack while manning his battle station aboard the USS Ticonderoga. He was buried at sea.

Contributions can be made in his memory to the South Dallas Historical Preservation Association for restoration of the ancestral family church.


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  • Created by: Margie
  • Added: Nov 22, 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID:
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/12462665/alvin_ethelbert-cowan: accessed ), memorial page for Gen Alvin Ethelbert Cowan II (8 Sep 1918–27 Oct 2005), Find a Grave Memorial ID 12462665, citing Glen Haven Memorial Park and Mausoleum, Winter Park, Orange County, Florida, USA; Maintained by Margie (contributor 46813267).