John Cowen

Obituary of John Duane Cowen

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John Duane Cowen was born on August 27, 1940 in Dundee, Michigan. He was one of three handsome sons born to the union of Donald Cowen and Roberta (Fisher) Kroeger.  John attended Dundee Community Schools, graduating from high school with the class of 1958.

On December 1, 1962, in Dundee, John married the love of his life; the former Dolores Weyher. Together the couple was blessed with two beautiful daughters: Karla and Kris.  For more than thirty-seven years, John worked as a machinist for the Ford Motor Company before retiring in June of 2000.

A founding member of the Dundee Sportsman Club he was also very active in the Travelers Rest Sporting Clay Shooting club in Dade City, Florida where John and Dolores wintered for twenty-two years.  John was a lover of nature, never missing an opportunity to spend time outdoors whether hunting deer in Northern Michigan near Houghton Lake or Hudson Lake in Lenawee County.  John’s favorite place to be was “in the woods”.   He also enjoyed spending time at Fletcher’s Flood water in Hillman, Michigan casting lines for his favorite catches, Large Mouth Bass or Northern Pike.  When John wasn’t hunting or fishing he enjoyed the solitude of sitting by the campfire, often staking ground in Glennie, Houghton Lake, and Hudson Lake in Michigan or Carlyle Lake in Illinois. 

John was the ultimate “tinkerer” always making something or spending time in his garage or shed. He built his own paint booth, painting his own fishing lures made by hand out of wood. He always tested his in the Raisin River before sharing them with others. Most importantly, John never let his work or his “tinkering” get in the way of family time. He adored his family especially his grandchildren. John took pleasure in spending time with the grandchildren whether he was teaching David how to ride a two wheeled bicycle or teaching Jacob, John’s fishing buddy how to cast a line. He had the deepest of love for his kin.

John Duane Cowen, age 82, of Dundee, Michigan passed away on Monday; July 10, 2023 at the Hospice of Lenawee in Adrian, Michigan surrounded by his loving family. His passing was preceded by his parents: Donald Cowen and Roberta Kroeger and a brother: Douglas Cowen.

To cherish John’s memory he leaves a loving wife of sixty years: Dolores Cowen of Dundee; two daughters: Karla (David) Caplinger of Carlyle, Illinois and Kris (Michael) Vigliotti of Lady Lake, Florida; a brother: Ronald (Judy) Cowen of Roscommon, Michigan; four grandchildren: David (Elyse) Caplinger of Carlyle, Illinois, Taylor Caplinger of Sarasota, Florida, Zachary (Marissa) Vigliotti of Erie, Michigan, and Jacob Vigliotti (Jayla Reineke) of Toledo, Ohio.

Friends may gather on Thursday; July 13, 2023, from 4:00pm until 8:00pm at Merkle Funeral Service, Dundee; 297 Tecumseh Street, Dundee, Michigan 48131 (734) 529-3156.  A Celebration of John’s Life will be held at 2:00pm on Friday; July 14, 2023, at Merkle’s with Pastor Brad Luke of Dundee United Methodist Church officiating. Procession will follow to Maple Grove Cemetery in Dundee for burial.

For those desiring, memorial contributions in John’s memory are suggested to the Dundee Firefighters Association, Hospice of Lenawee, or the Duke University ALS Research gift fund at or mailed to Duke ALS Clinic, Neurosciences, 300 West Morgan Street, Suite 1200, Durham, North Carolina 27705.

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Public Gathering

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, July 13, 2023
Merkle Funeral Service - Dundee
297 Tecumseh Street
Dundee Michigan, Michigan, United States
Public Gathering for John Cowen

Funeral Service

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Friday, July 14, 2023
Merkle Funeral Service, Dundee
297 Tecumseh Street
Dundee, Michigan, United States
Celebration of Life for John Cowen
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John Cowen

In Loving Memory

John Cowen

1940 - 2023

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