Robert J. Cowan thumbnail

Robert J. Cowan

October 27, 1928 - November 19, 2020

Robert Joseph Cowan died peacefully at his home November 19, 2020 at the age of 92. Bob was born October 27, 1928 to Richard Thomas Cowan and Velma Downs Greenhill Cowan in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was raised.
Baptized ROBERT JOSEPH COWAN at the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth, TX, in 1928. His boyhood life wa…read more

Robert Joseph Cowan died peacefully at his home November 19, 2020 at the age of 92. Bob was born October 27, 1928 to Richard Thomas Cowan and Velma Downs Greenhill Cowan in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was raised.
Baptized ROBERT JOSEPH COWAN at the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth, TX, in 1928. His boyhood life was filled with pets, principally “Fluffy” a Persian cat, “Bozo” an English Bull dog and “Tony” a mustang pony. Raised in Arlington Heights of Fort Worth, where he started school, Bob went on to New Mexico Military Institute to finish high school and junior college, where he thrived, especially in the R.O.T.C. department, and the Corps of Cadets. Southern Methodist University beckoned Bob to take a BBA Degree in its Business School. The U.S. Air Force then beckoned him to do a tour of duty during the Korean War as a Squadron Pay Master. Finally SMU awarded him an LLB Degree at its then brand new Law School campus. His first law job was as a Trial Attorney with the Chief Counsel of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, which sent him to its New York City office, where Bob worked trying tax cases in the U.S. Tax Court. Bob married Phyllis Moore on Thanksgiving Day, 1953, in the New York City Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and then moved to New York City. He made use of the “GI Bill” entitlements he earned while on active duty, and enrolled in the NYU Graduate Night School of Law working towards a Masters Degree in Law. After their first child was born, Bob accepted a job in Midland, TX with the Stubbeman, McRae, Sealy, Laughlin and Browder law firm; he resigned his job in New York, and his family moved to Midland.

In addition to his law practice, in Bob’s professional life, he was active in advanced studies in the law of Taxation, which was his specialty. He took advanced studies in this field, in his practice.
He was a leader in developing the use of limited partnerships in the oil and gas industry to provide safe legal “structures” in which private money could be used to explore for and develop new production with minimal danger to the investor beyond loss of his originally intended investment, which was his risk capital, while at the same time, preserve for the investor, the U.S. Income Tax benefits provided in the Tax Code. His formats became part of the early-beginning legal “structures” used to protect these investors.

His very active business, social and professional life began with close friendships with numerous Midland civic workers. Many of his friends were “Jaycees”, and they were very busy, indeed. Among many of the Midland civic matters in which he was active was the first “Midland Air Show.” It was held at Air Park, in north Midland. Another organization in which he became very active was the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale. When active on its Board of Directors, he became its President. He worked with his law partner and close friend, Bill Pennebaker in the early business aspects of Midland Summer Mummers, and its relation to Midland Community Theater. He was a charter member of the Racquet Club of Midland. More recently, he served on the UTPB Development Board and the Texas Historical Foundation Board. Bob received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award in 2004 given by the Permian Basin chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for his generous support of many Midland and Odessa endeavors. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, a member of First Presbyterian Church in Midland where he served as an Elder and Trustee. He and his late wife, Phyllis, established and endowed the Phyllis and Bob Cowan Performing Arts Series at Midland College. Their vision was to bring quality entertainment to families in the Midland and West Texas.

Bob was predeceased by Phyllis, his loving wife of 46 years; his parents, his brother and sister-in-law Frances and Donald Cowan, son-in-law Robert Stevens, and nephew George Graham. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Peggy; daughters Leslie Cowan Stevens of College Station, Cynthia Cowan Guiles (Kevin) of Fort Worth Casey Cowan Gale (Brian) of Altadena, California; step daughters, Pam Rasmussen (Hal), and Jennifer Smith; grandsons, Jacob and Spencer Gale; Christopher, Matthew and Blake Rasmussen; nieces Camilla Cowan, Susan Kaiser and nephews, Donald Cowan Jr. and Scot Graham (Kathy).
Due to the COVID pandemic, a service and celebration of Bob’s life will be planned at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Midland College Phyllis and Bob Cowan Performing Arts Series, The Peggy and Bob Cowan Emergency Room Fund at Midland Memorial Hospital Foundation, First Presbyterian Church, Home Hospice of Midland or a charity of one’s choice.

The family would like to express immense gratitude to Bob’s caregivers who provided him with such loving, attentive and professional care: Melonia Horta, Yolanda Guzman, Idia Herrera, Angela Barela, Crystal Barela, Stacey Lojan, Mary Castro and Marina Galdamez.

Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences may be made at www.npwelch.com.

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Robert J. Cowan thumbnail

Robert J. Cowan

October 27, 1928 - November 19, 2020

Robert Joseph Cowan died peacefully at his home November 19, 2020 at the age of 92. Bob was born October 27, 1928 to Richard Thomas Cowan and Velma Downs Greenhill Cowan in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was raised.
Baptized ROBERT JOSEPH COWAN at the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth, TX, in 1928. His boyhood life wa…read more

Robert Joseph Cowan died peacefully at his home November 19, 2020 at the age of 92. Bob was born October 27, 1928 to Richard Thomas Cowan and Velma Downs Greenhill Cowan in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was raised.
Baptized ROBERT JOSEPH COWAN at the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth, TX, in 1928. His boyhood life was filled with pets, principally “Fluffy” a Persian cat, “Bozo” an English Bull dog and “Tony” a mustang pony. Raised in Arlington Heights of Fort Worth, where he started school, Bob went on to New Mexico Military Institute to finish high school and junior college, where he thrived, especially in the R.O.T.C. department, and the Corps of Cadets. Southern Methodist University beckoned Bob to take a BBA Degree in its Business School. The U.S. Air Force then beckoned him to do a tour of duty during the Korean War as a Squadron Pay Master. Finally SMU awarded him an LLB Degree at its then brand new Law School campus. His first law job was as a Trial Attorney with the Chief Counsel of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, which sent him to its New York City office, where Bob worked trying tax cases in the U.S. Tax Court. Bob married Phyllis Moore on Thanksgiving Day, 1953, in the New York City Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and then moved to New York City. He made use of the “GI Bill” entitlements he earned while on active duty, and enrolled in the NYU Graduate Night School of Law working towards a Masters Degree in Law. After their first child was born, Bob accepted a job in Midland, TX with the Stubbeman, McRae, Sealy, Laughlin and Browder law firm; he resigned his job in New York, and his family moved to Midland.

In addition to his law practice, in Bob’s professional life, he was active in advanced studies in the law of Taxation, which was his specialty. He took advanced studies in this field, in his practice.
He was a leader in developing the use of limited partnerships in the oil and gas industry to provide safe legal “structures” in which private money could be used to explore for and develop new production with minimal danger to the investor beyond loss of his originally intended investment, which was his risk capital, while at the same time, preserve for the investor, the U.S. Income Tax benefits provided in the Tax Code. His formats became part of the early-beginning legal “structures” used to protect these investors.

His very active business, social and professional life began with close friendships with numerous Midland civic workers. Many of his friends were “Jaycees”, and they were very busy, indeed. Among many of the Midland civic matters in which he was active was the first “Midland Air Show.” It was held at Air Park, in north Midland. Another organization in which he became very active was the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale. When active on its Board of Directors, he became its President. He worked with his law partner and close friend, Bill Pennebaker in the early business aspects of Midland Summer Mummers, and its relation to Midland Community Theater. He was a charter member of the Racquet Club of Midland. More recently, he served on the UTPB Development Board and the Texas Historical Foundation Board. Bob received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award in 2004 given by the Permian Basin chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for his generous support of many Midland and Odessa endeavors. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, a member of First Presbyterian Church in Midland where he served as an Elder and Trustee. He and his late wife, Phyllis, established and endowed the Phyllis and Bob Cowan Performing Arts Series at Midland College. Their vision was to bring quality entertainment to families in the Midland and West Texas.

Bob was predeceased by Phyllis, his loving wife of 46 years; his parents, his brother and sister-in-law Frances and Donald Cowan, son-in-law Robert Stevens, and nephew George Graham. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Peggy; daughters Leslie Cowan Stevens of College Station, Cynthia Cowan Guiles (Kevin) of Fort Worth Casey Cowan Gale (Brian) of Altadena, California; step daughters, Pam Rasmussen (Hal), and Jennifer Smith; grandsons, Jacob and Spencer Gale; Christopher, Matthew and Blake Rasmussen; nieces Camilla Cowan, Susan Kaiser and nephews, Donald Cowan Jr. and Scot Graham (Kathy).
Due to the COVID pandemic, a service and celebration of Bob’s life will be planned at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Midland College Phyllis and Bob Cowan Performing Arts Series, The Peggy and Bob Cowan Emergency Room Fund at Midland Memorial Hospital Foundation, First Presbyterian Church, Home Hospice of Midland or a charity of one’s choice.

The family would like to express immense gratitude to Bob’s caregivers who provided him with such loving, attentive and professional care: Melonia Horta, Yolanda Guzman, Idia Herrera, Angela Barela, Crystal Barela, Stacey Lojan, Mary Castro and Marina Galdamez.

Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences may be made at www.npwelch.com.

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Life Event Timeline

Help tell the story of Robert's life by contributing to the Life Event Timeline. Upload the photo of an event...

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