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Irving Cowan, known as Doc, Unc and Man died peacefully, surrounded by family at Hospice & Palliative Care of the Piedmont on September 10, 2019 in Greenwood, SC at the age of 79. Irving was born on May 9, 1940 in Bordeaux, SC, located in McCormick County, to the late Blanche Cowan and Alonzo Gartrell. Irving was reared by his grandparents, the late Steve and Ida Cowan, in McCormick county, learning the discipline of hard work and family values.
He graduated from JSW High School in 1957. Upon graduation, he entered the US Air Force and was honorably discharged in June 1960. He married Floree Allen Cowan, his high school sweetheart, in 1959.
Upon being discharged from the Air Force, Irving moved his young family to Greenville, S.C. for eight years. He worked for Advant Steel Company, Atlanta, Ga and Mayflower Trucking company, Greenville. He relocated back to Calhoun Falls S.C. to rear their children. He was concerned with his children’s social and educational development. Upon returning to Calhoun Falls, he designed and had built the family home. He believed in discipline and instilled in his children to get an education and encouraged them to pursue their goals.
His work career in Calhoun Falls started at Rocky River plant where he worked for nine years. He continued his employment at Calhoun Falls Textile Mill and was the 1st Black supervisor, earning the respect of many and retiring after 25 years of service. Having an entrepreneurial spirit, he started several small businesses including a variety store, that Floree managed; he operated a private club on old Abbeville Hwy in the early 70's and operated a Cafe in Calhoun Falls in the mid to late 1970's. Irving biggest success was the opening of Candace Tax Service in 1998 and is still successful today ran under the management of his son, Chris Cowan, in Calhoun Falls.
Irving was not one to just sit around and do nothing in his community. He worked with Voters Registration for over 40 yrs. serving as chairman. He was also a notary for over 35 years, helping the community in any way he could by reading and assisting the less fortunate with finances and other matters of life. He was a member of the American Legion serving as Treasurer for many years. Irving and Bob Foster started a Boys/Cub scouts during the early 1970's holding meetings at the Ellison center of which his son, Chris participated. Irving served over 14 yrs. in the National Guard after being honorably discharged in October 1983. Some of his favorite pastimes were collecting coins, gardening and travel by air and cruising.
Beloved husband of the late Floree Cowan and son of the late Blanche Cowan; Irving leaves to cherish his memory, three children, Sheila (Elder Robert Copeland) Copeland, Washington, DC, Mayor Irving “Chris” (Betty) Cowan, Calhoun Falls, SC and Cassandra Avis (Elder Ellis Williams) Williams, Greenwood, SC.; a dedicated aunt, Azalee Cowan of Abbeville, SC; sister/cousin, Annie Allen of Abbeville, SC; two half-sisters, Chiquita Gartrell and Arretta McNey; seven grandchildren; and two great grandchildren; his caregiver and devoted companion Alice Banks; dedicated in-laws, Sadie Carter, Rev. Woodrow “Ellis” (Janis) Allen, Leroy (Ankie) Allen, Cleveland Ware, and Dr. Kenneth Levy; long-time friends, Garfield Thomas, Johnny Goodman and James Finley; a special niece, Martha (Ann) Crockett (LaPrell) and other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A graveside service, to celebrate Irving’s life, will be 11:00AM, Saturday, September 14, 2019 in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens.
A message of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting www.harrisfuneral.com.
Harris Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Calhoun Falls Chapel is assisting the Cowan family.