Kathleen L. Cowan
July 3,1945 - April 12, 2023
Kathleen L. Cowan passed peacefully at home after a brief battle with cancer. Kathy, as she was known by many, was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, friend and will be greatly missed.
Kathy was born in Ontario, Oregon to Dorothy and James Hurley. Though the family lived in Weiser, Idaho, Dorothy made sure that she was driven to a “larger” hospital than what Weiser offered in order to safely deliver Kathy, her third child.
Kathy’s formative years were spent in Weiser than Palmer, AK where she enjoyed joyful and carefree years with her four siblings. Her parents’ divorce uprooted her from her carefree childhood and thrust her into the urban setting of East Palo Alto and later Campbell, CA. Summers found her back in Alaska where she relished being a “big sister” to two girls in her father’s new family.
In 1965 Kathy gave birth to a son Mark Van Lieshout followed by another son, Eric Van Lieshout in 1968.She found work in the Social Services department of Santa Clara county to support herself and two sons.She continued her education at San Jose State College while maintaining a full-time job. She eventually earned a bachelor’s degree.
Making her way back to Alaska in 1988, Kathy settled in Kodiak, AK to be close to her father and younger brother where she worked customer service for Alaska Airlines. While in Kodiak, she met her life partner Rodney Cannon who was from Honolulu, HI. Within a few years, Kathy moved to Hilo, HI where she decided to go back to school and earn her master's degree in Social Work at University of Hawaii at Hilo. She eventually returned to California and settled in Stockton where she completed her clinical hours at Liliput Children Services to obtain her LCSW license. Kathy retired from Liliput after several years of assisting families with adoption with a kind and caring heart.
Favorite past times included travel, camping, walking and family gatherings. Kathy was an avid reader and read a variety of literature always passing along a ‘good book’ to family and friends. She also enjoyed going to the movies and made a point of seeing all Oscar nominated films prior to the awards ceremony. A proficient cook and baker since youth, Kathy excelled at making pies that she lavished upon family and friends.As a teen, Kathy’s baking expertise led her to receive a proclamation from the Alaska state legislature for the “Best Brownies”.
Always a good listener, Kathy was a vital center for many in her life. Her absence will be deeply felt by her extended family and cherished friends.
Kathy was preceded in death by her mother, Dorothy Hurley and father, James Hurley, sister Judith Ruddy, sons Mark and Eric Van Lieshout and life partner Rodney Cannon. She is survived by her grandchildren Ashley Van Lieshout (Roy Ventura) and Nick Van Lieshout, great grandson Elliot Ventura, sisters Joan Stebbins (Lucius), Susan Derrera (Curtis),Mary Hilowitz, brothers Michael Hurley (Cynthia) and Timothy Hurley (Donna), nieces Laurel Ruddy (Dennis Larson), Robyn Burris (Rod), Alexandra Derrera, Hannah Pebler (Mark), nephews Shawn Stebbins (Colleen), Daniel Stebbins, Devin Hurley, Jacob Hilowitz, and Aidan Derrera.
A Celebration of Life for Kathy will be held at 11 am on Friday, June 2, 2023 at Colonial Rose Chapel in Stockton, CA, reception to follow.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Wayfinder Family Services formerly Lilliput, 747 E Pershing Ave.,Stockton, CA 95230.