Sydney Spurgeon Cowen, a Korean War veteran, retired CSX railroad man, Presbyterian elder and great grandfather, died May 14, 2015, in Chattahoochee, Florida. He was 87.
Born December 15, 1927, Flat Creek, Florida, Mr. Cowen graduated from Greensboro High School.
Spurgeon volunteered and enlisted as a rifleman in the U.S. Army in October 1946. Private First Class Cowen served overseas in Korea as company cook and baker in Company F of the 20th Infantry Regiment, 6th Division, until discharged in 1948. In September 1950, at the outset of the Korean War, Spurgeon was recalled to active duty and assigned to Company G, 28th Infantry Regiment, Fort Jackson, SC, where he served as drill sergeant.
Upon his discharge in October 1951, Sergeant Spurgeon Cowen returned to Gadsden County and took a job helping build he Jim Woodruff Dam. He left that job in 1952 to work as a switchman for the L&N Railroad, retiring from that job in 1989.
Spurgeon was a member of Tallahassee Twirlers Square Dancers; the American Legion; a lifetime member of the Gadsden County Historical Society; Golden Days Club member in Chattahoochee and Joy Club member in Sneads; the Golden Railroaders; a patron of the Cowen Public Library, Chattahoochee; a Chattahoochee Presbyterian Church elder; a member of Gideons International. He sang tenor in the “Thirty-niners Choir” and delivered Meals on Wheels to area shut-ins.
His family will hold a visitation from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 17, 2015, at Lanier-Andler Funeral Home (850-663-4343) on Highway 90 East in Sneads, Florida. A funeral service will be held at the Chattahoochee Presbyterian Church, 425 Main Street at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, May 18, 2015. Graveside services will follow at Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Highway 90.
Spurgeon Cowen was the fifth child of Edward and Ida May Gilchrist Cowen of Flatcreek, Florida. He is survived by his wife Johnnie Melvin Cowen, Chattahoochee and three daughters, including Rosemary C. Dumoulin and husband Colonel John of Bay Saint Louis, MS; Barbara C. Gwyn and husband Ralph of Kennesaw, GA, and Kellye Gilley of Chepachet, RI; two sons, Michael L. Cowen and wife Teresa of Aiken, SC, and Scott Melvin, Jr., of Birmingham, AL; four brothers, Daniel Cowen of Jacksonville, FL, E. J. Cowen of Cantonment, FL, Joseph Cowen of Cashiers, NC, and Kenneth Cowen, Quincy, FL; sister Mary Emma Bassett of Gretna, FL; eight grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.
Mr. Cowen was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Frances Cowen, his second wife Bettie Barnett Cowen, his brother, William Cowen, and his sister Elizabeth Cowen Zorn.