William “Bill” Francis Cowles, 98, of Waverly, New York, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, April 22, 2022, at Sayre Health Care Center in Sayre, PA.
William was born on August 20, 1924 in Waverly, NY to the late Francis and Ester Cowles.
After graduating Waverly High School, Bill joined the US Army, serving throughout the European Theater, during World War II. For many years, as was with those who served in WWI and WWII, Bill was hesitant to share of this time overseas. In later life, those times became very important to him, and he began to share his memories which in many cases was difficult. Bill was presented in 2004 with a letter by the French government of the 60th day of D-Day and in 2019 with a Quilt of Honor, and was interviewed at that time as the last surviving Bradford County Veteran that was part of the Normandy invasion, at Omaha Beach. Corporal Cowles served with the 677th Infantry in the Military Police Division on the front lines and was the recipient of a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. One of his comments about the war and the thing that was prominent with him was how were we helping these people when there was such destruction. In 2019, Bill was amazed that the time had gone by so quickly, but for all those around him, honoring him and his time serving our country shall never be forgotten.
Upon returning home from the war, he worked as a Draftsman designing fire trucks for Ward LaFrance in Elmira, before being hired at IBM Federal Systems in Owego, as a Mechanical Design Engineer, retiring in 1983. He was a crack shot, an avid archer, an enthusiastic model airplane builder and flier, an avid hunter, a dedicated organ player, and avid fisherman, a passionate singer of Barbershop music, an avid golfer, an active member of the Grace Episcopal Church, and a loving father and grandfather.
He was predeceased by his loving wife, Virginia Cowles.
Bill is survived by his son, William A. Cowles (Jacqueline) of Athens, Tennessee, daughter Patricia Ward (Richard) of Waverly, New York, and son David Cowles, also of Waverly. His grandchildren include: Dr. Stacie Cook (Jeffery) of Atlanta, Georgia, Kristofor Ward (Stephanie) of San Diego, California, William F. Cowles (Kristina) of Heflin, Alabama, and Benjamin Cowles (Stephanie) of Waverly, New York.
Great-grand-children include: Ari and Olive Cook of Atlanta, Georgia, and Carter Cowles of Waverly, New York.
Graveside services will be held at Forest Home Cemetery, Elm Street, Waverly, NY on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 10:30am with the Rev. Benjamin Lentz officiating. The family is being assisted by the Lowery-Urban Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., Athens, Pennsylvania.
Military Honors and Burial will follow in Forest Home Cemetery in Waverly.
Memorial donations may be made in Bill’s name to: Travis Mills Foundation, 1002 Watson Pond Road, Rome, ME 04963 or www.travismillsfoundation.org.
On Saturday, May 6, 2023, an article will be in the Morning Times on Bill and his time in the service.
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