Obituary for Colonel William H. Cowper USMC Ret.
Cowper USMC, Colonel William H. On October 13th, 2011. Age 90. Of Cherry Hill, NJ. Beloved husband of the late Ellen Elizabeth Cowper (nee Jones). Devoted father of Greg and his wife Karen Schmidt, Gayl Howell and her husband Jim Fritsch, and the late Gary Charles Cowper and his wife Gayle Cowper (nee Cummings). Dear brother of George Cowper, the late Howard Cowper, and Nancy Ronalter. Caring grandfather of Moze, Cody, Matt and David. Loving great-grandfather of Norah, Harper, Ayden and Jaelin. Loving husband of the late Mary Anna Ross Cowper of St. Davids, PA. Bill Cowper was born in Lockport, New York 8 April 1921. As a teenager, he was active in many organizations, President of 4-H, an Eagle Scout, and in college, was a member of the Student Senate and Senior Honor Society. He graduated from Lockport High School, received his BA in Botany from Colgate University in 1942, attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and in 1968, earned an MBA from George Washington University. Enlisting in May 1942, Cowper was one of the few, the proud, the Marines. In 1947 he married fellow Marine Ellen Elizabeth Jones. They raised three children, have four grand children, and four great grand children. Bill and Ellen celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1997. Ellen, a retired speech therapist from the Cherry Hill School System, predeceased him in 1998. Rising to the rank of Colonel in the U. S. Marines, Colonel Cowper was on continuous active duty for 31 years. He was a supply and logistics officer. His career included assignments at all large Marine Corps Posts in the United States in addition to tours in Okinawa, Hawaii and Japan. He was in the South Pacific with the Eighth Marines, 2nd Marine Division during World War II – Saipan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa – and Chief of Staff, Force Logistics Command, for his second tour in Vietnam. Among decorations and awards, he received the Legion of Merit with Combat Valor, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. After retiring from the Marine Corps, he purchased Acme Addressing, Inc., a direct mail and printing company, serving as President and CEO until 2007. Colonel Cowper was active in many military, patriotic, professional and civic organizations. He was a Past President of Rotary Club of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Chapter Retired Officers Association, Benjamin Franklin Chapter National Sojourners, Philadelphia Council Navy League of the United States, State of Pennsylvania Navy League, and Sons of the American Revolution Continental Chapter. A particular favorite was The Society of the Sons of St. George where Bill served as secretary for almost 20 years. The Colonel will be missed. Relatives and friends are invited to his visitation on Tuesday October 18th from 6-7PM at the Bradley Funeral Home, Rt.73 and Evesham Rd., Marlton, NJ. A funeral service will be held 7 PM Tuesday at the funeral home. Interment with full military honors will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Foundation of the Society of the Sons of St. George, 215 S. 16th St., Ste. 14, Philadelphia, PA 19102.