Gerald Duane Cowen of California, PA, the youngest of three sons born to Herschel and Berenice (Gayman) Cowen, died unexpectedly on Monday, January 11, 2021 at the age of 88.
His military service is a mirror image to that of his brother John. Jerry enlisted in the Army on December 29, 1950. Both took basic training at Fort Knox, KY, and went to communications school in Ft. Devens, Mass. Both served with a communication reconnaissance unit during the Korean conflict and returned to the states in August of 1953. Both were assigned to Vint Hill Farms Station in VA until discharge on December 18, 1953. While in the service Jerry received numerous awards: Korean Service Medal, UN Service Medal, Merit Unit Commendation,
3 Bronze Stars, National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
Jerry graduated from California State College with a bachelor’s degree in science and mathematics. He received a master’s degree in mathematics education from the University of West Virginia. Jerry started his teaching career at Brownsville High School and later taught mathematics and computer science initiating the original start of the computer programming courses at California Area High School. He finished his teaching career part time at the California University of Pennsylvania.
He and his wife Pat of 64 years had two children, Leigh Cowen Richardson and Kurt Cowen (Denise), one grandson, Luke Richardson and one step-granddaughter, Bianca Niccolai. Jerry’s spirit is still very much alive. He was the current Treasurer of the Board for the California Area Historical Society. Jerry loved to sing in a barbershop quartet and was a member of the Mon Valley Chordsmen. He was active in the Bentleyville Fireman’s Band from high school until retirement.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Laird and John Herschel Cowen and his son-in-law, Donald Richardson.
Funeral services will be private, at the convenience of the family and officiated by Pastor Dawn Hargraves. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Mariscotti Funeral Home, Inc., Anthony N. Mariscotti, Supervisor, 323 Fourth Street, California, PA.
Memorial donations should be made to the California United Methodist Church, PO Box
426, California PA 15419 or the California Historical Society, PO Box 624, California, PA 15419.
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