Shirley J. Cowen

Age 87, of Durand, passed away Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Durand SeniorCare and Rehab Center. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel, with Pastor John Walworth officiating.

Her family will receive friends at the funeral home Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. and again Thursday one hour prior to the service.

Shirley was born in Durand on Nov. 23, 1931, to the late William and Lillian (Eames) Rinker.

She attended Durand High School, graduating in 1949. She was a cheerleader and sang in many special events. She had also sung on the radio with Jerry Bradley.

After graduation, Shirley worked as a telephone operator and for Simplicity Engineering as the switch board operator. She later moved on to the Durand Area Schools, where she worked in the library at the high school and as a secretary at Robert Kerr Elementary for 25 years.

Shirley married the love of her life, Dallas Cowen, June 16, 1951. After 21 years of marriage, they were blessed with their son, James Edward Cowen on July 11, 1972.

Shirley was predeceased by her parents; husband, Dallas; son, Jim; sisters: Florene Ames, Blenna Thomas, Mona Gilbert and brother, Bill Rinker.

She is survived by her younger sister, Sally (Dick) Marr, with their sons: Rick Marr and Roy (Toni) Marr and several nieces and nephews; sister-in-law Betty Benson and her children: Bruce Benson with sons Ethan and Garrett, and Bethany (Kurt) Austin with their children: Kurt (Rene) Austin Jr., Jeremy Austin and Tyler Austin and 4 great nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions given in Mrs. Cowen’s name are suggested to the Durand Area High School for the band and vocal departments. Online condolences may be shared with her family by going to

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