Mary Jeannette (Whittier) Cowling


Posted: Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Mary Jeannette (Whittier) Cowling, 90, died May 1, 2005, at Wildflower Court in Juneau.

She was born on April 28, 1915, at St. Ann's Hospital, and remained a lifelong resident of Juneau. She was the daughter of Maurice S. and Laura R. (Anderson) Whittier.

She graduated from Juneau High School in 1932. She played for the JHS women's basketball team. Lacking a bridge, the team ferried to Douglas to play Douglas High School. She attended Washington State University, where she was a member of Alpha Gamma Chapter of Sigma Kappa Sorority.

She met Robert W. Cowling in Juneau, and they were married March 16, 1940, in the original Northern Lights Presbyterian Church. They stayed in Juneau and raised their family in her childhood home on Distin Avenue, overlooking Whittier Street.

She was a homemaker and had a 21-year career with the state Department of Health and Social Services. She was troop leader of her daughter's Girl Scout Troop and the order of Rainbow for Girls, being a Rainbow "Mom." She was a life member and past Matron of the Order of Eastern Star, a member of the Juneau Yacht Club, and a veteran member of the Pioneers of Alaska, Igloo No. 6.

The couple enjoyed boating with their family and at their cabins on Admiralty and Chichagof Islands. Upon retirement, winters were spent with friends in Hawaii, Arizona and California.

Her greatest enjoyments were her family, her cats and her music.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 61 years; and her brother, Judson Whittier.

She is survived by her daughter, Joanne Wilder of Juneau; her son, Donald Cowling of Juneau; her granddaughters, Teri Jeannette Maxwell, Traci Gilmour and her husband Scott, and Nanci Jo Ferster and her husband Matthew of Juneau; her grandson, Richard Barron and his wife Tami of Arizona; six great-grandchildren, Naomi, Luke and Jacob Ferster, Thane Maxwell, Dezirae and Tyler Barron; her nieces, Barbara Barber of Haines and Kathleen Whittier of Oregon; and her great-nephews, Ryan, Reed and Jordan Barber.

Services will be at 2 p.m., May 7, 2005, at the Scottish Rite Temple on Fourth Street. A gathering of friends and family will follow from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Hangar Ballroom with refreshments and a no-host bar.

Joanne Wilder can be contacted at 2991 Glacierwood Drive, 99801. Donald Cowling can be contacted at 327 Distin Ave., 99801.

Donations may be made in her name to The Cancer Connection, P. O. Box 20329, Juneau, 99802.

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