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Mary E. Cowen

November 21, 1939 May 20, 2020
Mary  E.  Cowen
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Obituary for Mary E. Cowen

Mary Elizabeth Cowen

Brookfield—Mary Elizabeth Cowen (Robinson), 80, passed away on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, with the love and support of her family, at MVHS Rehabilitation and Nursing Center after an extended illness. She was born on November 21, 1939, the daughter of the late John and L. Gertrude Robinson. Mary graduated with the Class of 1957 from Leonardsville Central School. Throughout school, Mary was very involved in extracurriculars; she played basketball, soccer, softball, and was a cheerleader. She was also a member of chorus and band.

On August 2, 1958, at the age of 18, Mary married the love of her life, Allen Rush (Abe) Cowen at the Leonardsville United Methodist Church. After having three children, Mary continued her education and earned a nursing degree from the Utica School for Practical Nurses in 1971. She was an LPN at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center for 33 years. She had a long and distinguished career, serving as the Employee Health Office nurse. She was a devoted nurse and compassionate caregiver. Mary was named the 2001 Employee of the Year by the hospital.

Mary and Abe’s joyous union lasted 55 years until his death in 2014. Through the years, they participated in the Brookfield Couples Bowling League and numerous shuffleboard leagues. They also enjoyed camping, snowmobiling, and attending stock car races at the Utica Rome Speedway. She was a past member of the Brookfield Fire Department Auxiliary and the Brookfield Snow Drifters Club. Mary was also a member of the Leonardsville United Methodist Church.

Inheriting her parents’ love for antiques, Mary regularly attended antique shows and estate sales throughout New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts with her best friend and sister, Hazel Burch. Each August, when her daughter, Shelley, visited home from Texas, they would make their annual pilgrimage to the Madison-Bouckville Antique Show.

Mary loved celebrating the holidays. She always made popcorn balls for Halloween, lasagna for Christmas Eve, and no one could top her rhubarb pie. She also had a tradition of shopping for Christmas all year long. Mary will be remembered as a compassionate and giving person, but most of all, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and sister. Mary also relished the friendships she made throughout her life.

Mary is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Allen and Nannette Cowen, of Brookfield; daughter, Shelley Cowen, of Pilot Point, Texas; son, Tim Cowen (Chris), of Holland Patent; a sister and brother-in-law Hazel and Gerald Burch, of Brookfield; sister-in-law Sharon Robinson, of Stittville; brothers-in-law Gerald Cowen (Carol) and George Cowen (Crystal), of Brookfield. One of her biggest joys was her beloved grandchildren: Trisha Cowen (Hayley), Matthew Cowen (Heather), Katelyn Worwa (Wade), Nicole Yasenovsky (Andrew), and Brianna Heider (Joe), and eight great grandchildren: Allie, Sophia, Ella, Ryan, Lexi, Freya, Sawyer, and Mara. She was predeceased by her parents, John and Gertrude, her brother John Robinson, and her beloved husband Abe.

Due to current health restrictions, funeral services and interment in Brookfield Cemetery will be private. A Celebration of Mary’s Life, will be held at a future date to be announced. Funeral services have been entrusted to the personal care of the Paul Funeral Home of Brookfield. To offer a condolence or share a memory, please visit:

In memory of Mary, kindly consider donations to the Stevens-Swan Humane Society, 5664 Horatio St, Utica, NY 13502.

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Event Information

Services are private.

Cemetery Details


Brookfield Rural Cemetery Final Resting Place

Beavercreek Road
Brookfield, NY 13314

Beavercreek Road Brookfield 13314 NY
United States

Memorial Contribution

Stevens-Swan Humane Society

5664 Haratio Street
Utica, New York 13502

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