Lloyd Cowan
Lloyd Cowan

Obituary of Lloyd Cowan



LLOYD WILKES COWAN of Sylva, North Carolina, was called to his heavenly home on January 20, 2018, being welcomed into the Kingdom and hearing the Lord say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  


Born on January 24, 1922, to Roystan Duffield Cowan, II, and Margaret Cordelia “Delia” Hall Cowan at the head of East Fork of Savannah in Jackson County, Lloyd was one of seven children that included two older sisters, Bennie Settlemyre and Bernice Higdon, an older brother, Leo Cowan, two younger brothers, R.D. Cowan and Bryant Cowan, and a younger sister named Little Frankie.  Lloyd attended grammar school at the old East Fork School and later the old Webster High School during the Great Depression where he played varsity basketball and graduated as president of his senior class in 1941.  He went on to attend college at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee Junior Industrial College in Dillard, Georgia.  Lloyd grew up on an 88-acre farm at the head of East Fork which he called the good life, having everything a boy or young man could ever dream of.  For many years later, Lloyd and his family gathered together for reunions, picnics, and lazy days along the creek at the old barn and home place.  It seemed all was right with the world there on East Fork, fresh air, homegrown food, clean running water, sounds of cows, birds, laughing children, fellowship, and a simple life of goodness.  His favorite place to go in all the Smokies that he had visited through his life was a slow ride up to East Fork and to talk of those old times.   


Lloyd was a proud veteran of the United States Navy, serving as a Yeoman First Class in World War II.  After seeing places like San Diego, California, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Tokyo, Japan, Lloyd returned home to Sylva in 1946.  He then began work at Belk Department Store in Sylva serving the community over the next 40 years until his retirement.  Lloyd was a member of the Dillsboro Masonic Lodge #459 for 75 years, served on the Board of Alderman of Sylva, was the head of the Merchants’ Association of Sylva, and a member of the American Legion.


Lloyd Wilkes Cowan was a true Mountain Man! He loved the Great Smoky Mountains, Carolina blue skies, family, neighbors, and any stranger (soon-to-be friend) that he would meet in his travels, but above all, he loved his church and the Lord.  For well over 30 years, Lloyd worshipped and served as a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Dillsboro, North Carolina.  He was a wonderful historian and a gifted storyteller, writer, and photographer, leaving behind so much of himself in letters, pictures, and interviews.  He left a beautiful dedication of work to Jackson County’s old barns which is now recorded in the Archives of Western Carolina University, as is his interview for the Stories of Mountain Folk.  Lloyd also spent many hours and days working on the Jackson County Heritage Book.  His gift of storytelling was the result of a rich, creative mind, and a long, well-lived life.  Lloyd loved anything outdoors and was an avid bear, rabbit, and “coon” hunter spending much of his life hunting the Great Smoky Mountains, and was an active member of his bear hunting club for over 70 years.  He loved food and fellowship, and any reason to eat good home cooking or share a cake of cornbread on the back porch of Josephine Street was a good day.  A ride in the mountains in his ole' Jeep was a favorite pastime for him as well, and if you were lucky to be nearby, you got to ride and listen.


Lloyd married his beloved wife, Elizabeth Landis Cowan, at the First Baptist Church in Sylva on June 10, 1945.  They were married for 66 years and had four children, Sharon Ridley, Connie Sutton, Beverly Cowan, and Gary Cowan.  His grandchildren include Adrian Ridley, Deirdre Henry, Christina Judd, Monica Parton, Andrea Ridley, Veronica Clark, Dustin Henry, Valerie Finamore, Judson Cowan, and Dorothy Cowan.  Lloyd also had 17 great grandchildren and 6 great, great grandchildren. 


Preceding in death were Lloyd's parents, five siblings, Leo Cowan, Bennie Settlemyre, R.D. Cowan, Bryant Cowan, and Little Frankie, his wife, Elizabeth Landis Cowan, his son, Gary Landis Cowan, and his grandson, Dustin Henry.


Visitation will be held at Appalachian Funeral Services in Sylva, North Carolina, on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.  Funeral services will be held at East Fork Baptist Church in Sylva, North Carolina, on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at 2:00 p.m., with burial to follow at Kenner Cemetery in Sylva, North Carolina.


Until we meet again…