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Joe Murry Cowan (Tulia)

January 18, 1930 — May 17, 2024

Amarillo

Joe Murry Cowan (Tulia)

Joe Murry Cowan, 94, passed away peacefully at The Craig Living Facility in Amarillo, Texas while surrounded by his family on May 17, 2024. He greatly enjoyed the last five years at The Craig, spending time with old friends and making plenty of new ones! 

Joe and his identical twin brother, Lynn, were born January 18, 1930, in Tulia, Texas to Welborn Chesterfield “Chester” and Verdie Grace Cowan. The brothers remained in Tulia until they graduated from Tulia High School in 1947.

Following high school graduation, Joe attended Texas Tech University where he received a BBA in accounting in 1951. While there, he also completed Officer Candidate School in anticipation of joining the Korean War effort. Joe belonged to a number of organizations including the Glee Club and Toastmasters. He was also a member of the Red Raider Band during his college time.

Joe married his high school sweetheart, Juanita Lei Kreig, on November 23, 1952, in Tulia. They were married for 57 years until her passing in 2009.

Joe and “Nita’’ moved to Midland, Texas where he was the chief accountant for Honolulu Oil Corporation. While in Midland, Joe was an active golfer, a competitive swimmer, and interestingly, a part-time uranium prospector. In 1952 he joined the Navy and served on the aircraft carrier USS Mindoro.  He remained in the naval reserve until 1959. Following his active-duty service in the navy he continued to pursue his professional career in Midland. In 1965, after the sudden passing of his father, Joe and his brother Lynn made the decision to move back to Tulia to manage and operate the family farm and ranch. This operation ultimately became the Circle C Agricultural Corporation.

Joe was very involved in the First United Methodist Church of Tulia, serving as Senior Youth director with his wife Nita and as a Sunday school teacher until his move to Amarillo at age 89. Through their long tenure as directors of the Methodist Youth Fellowship, Joe and Nita nurtured the education and spiritual growth of hundreds of kids.

In his limited free time, he enjoyed fly fishing, camping and backpacking with family and friends. Always willing to lend a helping hand, he volunteered for a multitude of civic services throughout the Swisher County community and elsewhere. He was instrumental in the Tulia volunteer team effort following the devastating Wichita Falls tornado. Joe was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and was active in the development of the Swisher County Museum. During the American Agricultural Movement in the late 1970’s (a movement created to be a voice and statement against the demise of the small American farmer) he, along with many Swisher County neighbors and farmers from across the country, drove their tractors from Tulia to Washington D.C.!

Surviving family include Mark Cowan (Raquel) of Taos, NM, Scott Cowan (Shannon) of Stillwater, OK, Todd Cowan (Veronica) of Fort Worth, TX, and Tamra Boteler (Blake) of Midlothian, TX. He was affectionately known as “Papa Joe” to his many grandchildren: Tucker Cowan, Gabriela Cowan, Cheyenne Boteler, Hunter Boteler, Sage Boteler, Gus Cowan, Pancho Fluxa Moncada, Raquel Fluxa Moncada, and Felipe Fluxa Moncada. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Nita Cowan, his parents, Chester and Verdie Cowan, and his four siblings, W.C. Cowan, Helen Malone, Gloria Kessinger and Lynn Cowan.

The family would like to sincerely thank the wonderful residents staff at Craig Living Facility for their love and support throughout his time there. Their efforts made a lasting difference during his years in Amarillo. The family also sends a very special thanks to LaJettie Womack, a remarkable caregiver, for her commitment, exceptional care, and dedication to Joe.

Joe’s playful spirit, encouraging words, and big heart will be missed by his family and all those who knew him.

Celebration of Life Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 25 th at the First United Methodist Church in Tulia, officiated by Pastor Drew Travis. Burial service will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery under the direction of Kornerstone Funeral Directors. A reception will be held in the Fellowship Hall at the First United Methodist Church after the burial.

Contributions may be made in honor of Joe M. Cowan to the Swisher County Museum at 127 SW 2nd St, #104, Tulia, TX 79088, the First United Methodist Church of Tulia at 119 N. Briscoe Ave., Tulia, TX 79088 or the non-profit organization of your choice.

To order memorial trees in memory of Joe Murry Cowan (Tulia), please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

119 N Briscoe Ave, Tulia, TX 79088

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