Robert “Bob” Louis Cowles

Sunday, October 29, 2023 2:28 pm

Robert “Bob” Louis Cowles, 91, of Ossian, went to be with the Lord on Oct. 21, 2023. He passed away at his home on a beautiful fall day, doing what he loved most – farming.

Bob was born on Nov. 12, 1931 to Lulu (Miller) and Park Cowles, and was the second of five children. He attended Dover Township School, a one-room schoolhouse. In 1939, the Cowles family purchased land south of Ossian and Bob farmed there until the day he died. Over the course of his life he farmed corn and beans, milked cows and raised hogs and beef cattle.  He enjoyed riding horses in his younger days and always had food or a treat (and maybe even a pet, if he could get close enough!) for the barn cats.

He served his country in the Korean War as a member of the U.S. Army Third Infantry Division, and was stationed at the 38th Parallel when the armistice was signed in 1953. When he returned to the States, he met Beverly Buddenberg at the Ossian roller rink. They were married in 1958, and had two children, Denise and Kenton.

Bob was a talented mechanic and welder, and enjoyed working on machinery and overhauling his many Allis Chalmers tractors. He was an animal lover, a talker, a goofy practical joker, a friend to everyone, and a caring father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. (He didn’t answer to “Dad” or “Grandpa”—everyone just called him Bob.) He was very proud of his family and their accomplishments.

He rarely mentioned his time in the service—however, in 2018, Bob, along with other Eastern Iowa veterans, was invited to take a Cedar Valley Honor Flight to visit the American war memorials in Washington, DC. This was a very meaningful experience for him and he spoke of it often in his later years.

He was a member of Zion Lutheran in West Union and had many family and friends at Bethany Lutheran in West Union.

Preceding Bob in death are his parents, Lulu and Park; sister, Delores Chensvold; brothers Stanley, Kenneth, and George; and many extended family members and friends.

Left to honor Bob’s memory are his wife Beverly of Ossian; daughter Denise (Chuck) Sandager of Albert Lea, Minn. and son Kenton of Ossian; granddaughters Amy Marie (Mark) Lobas of Moorhead, Minn. and Kristin (Shaughn) Gilman of Vail, Ariz.; great-grandchildren Genevieve, Marie, and Henri Gilman and Thomas Lobas; sisters-in-law Lolita Engelhardt of Postville and Darlene Cowles of Elk River, Minn; and many nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023 at Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home in West Union. There will also be a one hour visitation before services at the church on Thursday.

Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023 at Zion Lutheran Church in West Union, with TEEM Lead Isaiah Stansbery as the officiant. Burial with Military Rites will follow at West Union Cemetery in West Union. A luncheon will follow the service; all are welcome to attend.

Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in West Union is assisting the family with arrangements.

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