William F. McCowan, 94, of Cheverly, MD, passed away on March 31, 2018. Bill was born January 12, 1924 in Michigan, the son of Franklyn A. and Emma (Cary) McCowan.
After high school graduation, he proudly served in the US Army Air Corps from 1942-1946. McCowan then earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from Michigan State University, while serving in the Army Reserves.
He worked for the state of Michigan before starting his civil service career with the federal government in 1953. Bill and his wife, Kayti, moved from the home he built in East Lansing, MI to suburban Washington, DC with their four young children. By 1963, there were nine children and the family lived in Cheverly, MD.
In 1984, McCowan retired from the US Navy Department and promptly enrolled in the University of Maryland. He pursued his passion for learning, taking credit courses and later auditing classes into his 70s. He had a razor-sharp memory.
McCowan was fiercely independent and lived in his Cheverly home until nine days before his passing. He was a voracious reader and a true Renaissance man. Whether informing, opining, or debating, Bill always had something to share.
In his quest for knowledge, Bill’s travels took him across the USA and to Europe and China. He enjoyed an eclectic mix of interests including opera and classical music, theatre, baseball, crossword puzzles, bowling, and pretty women.
McCowan’s greatest joy was his large family. He was the eldest of five generations of descendants named William McCowan.
He was predeceased by his parents; sister, Dorothy Case; son, Kevin; and grandson, Tommy Little.
McCowan is survived by his sister, Jean Hekhuis; former wife, Kathryn (Gould) Fritsch; children Bill (Peggy), Joel (Julie), Deborah (Joe Carroll), Colleen, Scott (Linda), Mark (Vicki), Frank (Jill), and Megan Mathews (Chris); daughter-in-law, Laurie; 28 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at a future date.