June 18, 1924 – September 22, 2018
Des, of Cranbrook, BC, left this world as he came into it, in his home, which is exactly what he wanted. He is survived by his loving wife Joy, his children Neil (Teresa), Chris, Tim (Nina) and Sally (Bob), step-children George (Denise), Rick (Diana), Lorena (Larry) and Lisa (Murray), grandchildren Jenny, Tricia, Andrew, Sarah, Erin, Will and Adrian, step grandchildren, Chris, Peter, Kristin, Courtenay, Justin, Jessica and Laurel as well as many great grandchildren.
The son of Will and Tommy (nee Greer) Cowan, Des was born June 18, 1924 in Essex, England. He was the middle of three siblings (Brian and Rosie). Growing up he developed a love of sports. Boxing, tennis, squash, golf and rowing were amongst his favorites, but sailing was his passion although he golfed and curled into his 90’s.
Des served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He had a distinguished army career from 1948 – 1963, that resulted in his appointment to the Order of the British Empire O.B.E., meeting the Queen and one of his most memorable stories in which the Queen had asked him where he served? To which Des responded, “You should know, you sent me there!” In 1969 he immigrated to British Columbia and never looked back. He loved Canada. Des practiced medicine as an orthopedic surgeon in Cranbrook from 1973 to 1991 and he was deeply committed to his patients and his profession. Following this he served as Chief of Staff at EKRH for another five years and before his retirement he worked five more years as a consultant for WCB. While the world has lost an intelligent, kind and entertaining man, thankfully we are left with a wealth of memories of an eventful and meaningful life. Many will remember the vision of him sitting by a campfire or with a captured audience ready to tell the tale of young Albert and his walking stick. (He would be vexed if we didn’t mention it.) Not really an accomplished musician, Des nevertheless entertained the masses with a clarinet, ukulele, accordion, piano, chanter, guitar and his voice.
To celebrate his life the family would be pleased to raise a glass with you, in Des’ honour, at the Cranbrook Golf Course, Saturday, October 6, 2018 between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
Arrangements entrusted to McPherson Funeral Service. Condolences for the family can be offered at: www.mcphersonfh.com.