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Joe Billy Cowan


Funeral Services for Joe Billy Cowan, 85, of Wayne were held Friday, May 12, 2023 at the Rosedale Baptist Church. Interment followed at the Hopping Cemetery in Wayne under the direction of the Wilson-Little Funeral Home in Purcell.

Mr. Cowan was born between Slaughterville and Noble on June 12, 1937. He lived in the Byars, Peavine area growing up. He went to several different schools in the area. Joe graduated from Byars High School in May of 1957, with the last graduating class of Byars High School.

Joe started working at John Deere in Pauls Valley when he was 12 years old. He helped his family and neighbors farm land in his youth.

Joe married his high school sweetheart, Virginia Ruth Short on June 21, 1958 at Rosedale First Baptist Church. Joe and Virginia had three kids. Donna was born March 13, 1960 in Altus. Billy was born January 14, 1962 in Purcell. Unexpectedly, 16 years later, Jennifer was born September 11, 1978 in Purcell.

Joe worked several jobs in his life, including working for John Deere in Altus, Okla. While working for John Deere, he attended the John Deere school for Mechanic in Moline, Iowa. in the 60s. He drove a truck, hauling aircraft scrap for Purcell Alloys for over 20 years.

Joe was a member of the Rosedale First Baptist Church in Rosedale for many years. He was naptized in the church June 3, 2001.

He retired from York International in 2003. After retiring from York, he rebuilt around 300 Ford 8 and 9N tractors and sent them to California. He later worked on tractors for locals and rebuilt and painted many tractors for friends. Joe was a humble legend in the tractor world to those who knew him. He was a great husband, dad, papa and friend. His greatest accomplishment was his family!

Joe was loved by everyone who knew him. He was the greatest man we ever knew! Joe passed away on May 9, 2023 at the Integris Burn Center in Oklahoma City, after a six-week long battle from being burned. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hiram and Lora Cowan; brother, Jake Cowan; and sisters, Francis Carlin and Louis Mumford. 

He is survived by his wife, Virginia of the home; three children, Donna Schoemann and husband, Danny, of Wanette, Billy Cowan and wife, Carol, of Wayne and Jennifer Morgan and husband, Tony, of Byars; nine grandkids; 12 great-grand kids; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and many more family and friends. 

Online condolences may be made at www.wilsonlittle.com.