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TRYON – James “Jim” Woodford Cowan, 88, of Tryon, passed away Monday afternoon, January 11, 2021 at his home.


A native and lifelong resident of Tryon, he was the son of the late John W. Cowan and Lillie Davidson Cowan. A graduate of Tryon High School, Mr. Cowan went on to serve in the U.S. Army. He began working at the family business, J.W. Cowan, Inc, and later serving as president before retiring in 2016. During those years, he was a Tryon Fireman for 32 years, serving a term as Fire Chief, 12 years on the Tryon Town School Board, 20 years on the Polk County School Board and a charter member of the Tryon Lyons Club. Mr. Cowan was named Businessman of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 1997. He was a dedicated member of Tryon United Methodist Church where had served as Sunday School superintendent. 


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a grandson, James “Tank” Waters; one brother, John Charles Cowan.


Surviving is his loving wife of 65 years, Patricia Caston Cowan; one son, E. Woodford “Woody” Cowan (Jan) of Tryon; one daughter, Janet Cowan Chapman (Adrian) of Tryon; two grandchildren, Samantha Jackson, and Justin Jackson both of Tryon.


Mr. Cowan will lie in state from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Sunday, January 17, 2021 at the McFarland Funeral Chapel for anyone wanting to drive thru and pay their respects.


A private family funeral will follow at 2:00 p.m. Sunday in the McFarland Funeral Chapel with Reverend Lynnette J. Sills officiating. The service will be live streamed through the McFarland Funeral Chapel YouTube channel.


Burial will be private in Polk Memorial Gardens with military rites conducted by the Polk County Veterans Memorial Honor Guard.


Memorials may be made to Tryon United Methodist Church, 195 New Market Road, Tryon, North Carolina 28782 or to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, P.O. Box 336, Forest City, North Carolina 28043.


An online guest register is available mcfarlandfuneralchapel.com


McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory

Tryon, NC