John R. Cowell, Sr., aka Papa Owl, age 84, of Carp Lake passed away Monday, November 2, 2020 at his home surrounded by his family. He was born November 7, 1935 in Pickford, the son of Fuller and Martha (Johnson) Cowell. On December 14, 1957 at the Church of the Straits in Mackinaw City, John married Ardis Russell who preceded him in death in October of 1999.
John had worked for the State of Michigan on Mackinac Island as a Blacksmith and maintenance mechanic for several years before he transferred to Fort Michilimackinac where he retired in 1997 after 25 years of service. He was an avid horseman, a full-time farrier and a 20 year member of the Carp Lake Fire Department.
Survivors include his five children, John (Tammy) Cowell of TN, Darlene (Gary) Ericks of Mackinaw City, Bonita (Chuck) Chesner of Levering, Jimmy Dean Cowell of Carp Lake and Donald (Midget) Cowell of Harbor Springs, two sisters, Almeda Bodwin of Cheboygan and Lorma Kolatski of Mackinac Island, 18 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Besides his wife Ardis, John was preceded in death by his parents and 10 siblings.
Visitation was held at the Nordman-Christian Funeral Home on Wednesday, November 4. A graveside service will take place at the Carp Lake Twp. Cemetery on Thursday, November 5 at 11:00 AM with Pastor Scott Mallory officiating. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Carp Lake Fire Association.