Raymond Wayne Cowan was born in Kansas City, Kansas on December 21, 1934, to William John Cowan and Mary Evelyn Murphy, the oldest of their seven children.
Wayne graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1953. Following high school, he spent time at Baylor and William Jewell but eventually enlisted in the Army in 1957, where he served two years in the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After leaving the service, Wayne started a “temporary” job as a bookkeeper at the Board of Public Utilities in Kansas City, Kansas but ended up working there from 1959 to 1970 while he was completing a degree in Sociology from UMKC.
Following graduation, Wayne got a job as a caseworker at the State of Missouri Child Welfare Department, working there five years. He later worked 17 years at the Bureau for the Blind in Rehabilitation Services, retiring in 1997. Wayne spent his professional career dedicated to service to others and still talked about his clients many years after his retirement.
Wayne married the love of his life, Nancy Payton, on September 9, 1958, in Kansas City, Kansas. They met at church when they were teenagers and celebrated 63 loving years of marriage together.
Wayne and Nancy had three daughters, Linda Brentar (John); Lisa Jacob; and Karen Cowan. They were also blessed with grandchildren Mark Jacob (Andrea), Karalyn Westhoelter (Joshua), Eric Jacob (Becca), and Connor Brentar and great-grandchildren Mitkah, Shelevah, Zevadyah, Berechyah, Emersyn, and Easton.
Wayne joined Englewood Baptist Church in November 1971 and served the church in multiple roles, including deacon, Sunday School teacher, co-leader of the Sunshine Class with Nancy, and a member of the Care Team. Wayne truly valued his friendships and fellowship at Englewood.
Wayne had many varied interests throughout his life, including reading (especially Stephen King and science fiction), art, music, photography, Civil War history, watching Royals and Chiefs games, and a lifelong love of learning.
In addition to his wife, daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, Wayne is survived by his sisters Mary McBee and Bonnie Parsons and brother Johnny Cowan (Marlene). Wayne was preceded in death by his parents and sisters Alberta Hutsler, Alice Johnson, and Sharon Johnson.
If you would like to make a donation in Wayne’s honor, he requested contributions to the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, 1 East Wacker Drive, Suite 1730, Chicago, IL 60601 ( Donate Online ).