Stanley Albert Cowan passed away early morning October 12, 2023 while in hospice care at Holly Heights Care Center, Denver, Colorado.
Stan had been in declining health for several years resulting from multiple strokes and other health issues. But Stan was determined to live and dealt with the many debilitating side effects of stroke until the final hours of his life.
Born into a loving family in Caldwell, Idaho, Stan spent his early years there before moving to Great Falls, Montana where his widowed mother had found administrative work at the new air base. Stan graduated from Great Falls High School where he participated in drama productions and discovered his life-long hobby of photography. After high school, Stan attended Northwestern University for several years, after which he joined the U.S. Navy.
After Basic Training in San Diego CA, Stan was posted to Memphis TN, Jacksonville FL, and Virginia Beach and Norfolk VA naval bases. He advanced in technical ranks to teach Celestial Navigation and flew as Navigator on East Coast Submarine Reconnaissance flights. Teaching classes in the Navy opened a career door for Stan. He returned to college, graduating from the University of Montana at Missoula with a B.A. in Honors English. Awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for graduate study, he applied to and was accepted at Yale University Graduate School where he achieved his M.A. in English Literature.
The University of Delaware recruited Stan to their Department of English where he taught both English and American Literature for five years. A career opportunity at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada took Stan and family on a 30-year adventure-experience originally envisioned as two or three. Stan taught at “Dal” for 30 years, during which time he focused on 19th- and early 20th century American literature and introduced a new and very popular Science Fiction and Fantasy course. During these core years of his teaching career, the family grew up together and enjoyed exploring the beauty of Nova Scotia. Stan’s love of photography tied in well with the many deeply loved family cats over the years which he took immense pleasure in documenting with his camera.
After his retirement, Stan returned to his western roots and spent a number of years caring for a beloved step-father, Jim Stiles, in Casper WY, commuting between Casper and Aurora, Colorado until his step-father’s passing. Since then, Stan has lived in Aurora with his wife. He enjoyed eating out, going to the Denver Art Museum, concerts and shows at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, movie theater presentations of operas and ballets, trips to Central City to attend live opera performances and more. And reading! Stan was a reader and collected a library of ‘books worth reading’.
In his retirement, Stan also became very interested in animal welfare through volunteer work, and by extension, began a substantial program of charitable giving to organizations promoting animal rescue, animal welfare and animal rights.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Valerie, and sons Stan II, James and Thomas, granddaughter Emma and two great-granddaughters, Aylah and Amaya. Donations in Stan’s memory should be made to the animal charity of your choice.
The family wishes to thank the staff—nurses, CNA’s , administrators and others—at Holly Heights Care Center, and the nursing, social work and administrative staff of Colorado Palliative Care and Hospice for their efforts on Stan’s behalf during his debility. Their care and concern were, and will continue to be, a source of comfort to his family. Memorial service and inurnment at the Oregon Trail Veterans Cemetery, Casper, Wyoming, to be held at a later date.