Joan Cowman


Mrs. Joan Cowman, 85, of Galesburg, our loving wife, mother, and Nana went to be with the Lord and loved ones on January 11, 2020.

She was born February 7, 1934 in Chicago Heights to Charles and Viola (Schneeweiss) Folkenroth. She married Robert McKenna August 7, 1953 and had two children together. He preceded her in death July 19, 1956. Joan later married Donald J. Cowman on December 26, 1960 and together had one son.

Surviving is her husband of 59 years, Donald Cowman of Galesburg; one daughter, April (Gil) Douglas of Burlington, Iowa; two sisters, Carol (Dorrance) Doubet of Galesburg and Dorothy Smith of East Moline; one granddaughter, Rachael Douglas of Montecito, California; and one grandson, Gilbert (Rachel) Douglas III of Burlington, Iowa.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert McKenna; and two sons, Robert Craig McKenna and Douglas Todd Cowman.

Joan graduated from Maquon Valley High School in 1952. She was a hairstylist and co-owner/ co-operator of Mr. Don’s House of Hair Design alongside her husband for nearly 30 years. She and her husband also owned The Antique Shack, a business out of their home, during the 1970’s. Joan enjoyed playing piano. She loved reading including Bible Study and Book Club. She was a Master Gardener and was meticulous with her flower beds and hanging baskets. She enjoyed ballroom dancing. She was a wonderful cook and her Christmas feasts were spectacular. Her gift wrapping was beautiful. She loved to travel. For the past 13 years, she traveled at least yearly to Santa Barbara where she loved spending time on the beach. She enjoyed fine dining and good Chardonnay. Joan enjoyed shopping and fashion. She was a frequent flyer at Innkeeper’s and when she could no longer go there, she was thankful to family and friends delivering her favorite treats. She always enjoyed phone calls and visits from family and friends. She was an animal lover and was so fond of her dog, Sophie. She was a loving wife. As a mother, she was a daughter’s best friend. As Nana, she leaves behind precious memories of birthdays, holidays, Sunday outings at Oak Run, weekend ski trips, shopping trips to Chicago, going to church, May Day baskets and countless others.

Joan’s family would like to thank the entire staff at Seminary Manor for the care that she received. During her final days, the compassion, sensitivity, and respect for her privacy went beyond measure. Thank you, Pastor Pam, family and friends who visited Joan while at Seminary Manor. The family also thanks Deacon Mike Crummer, OSF Hospice. His visits with Don often included visits to Joan. His soothing demeanor and praying with Joan, Don, and the family added calmness to the storm. A special thanks to Sarah Koons. Her ongoing love and support exemplify the true meaning of loyal friendship.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, February 1, 2020 at First Lutheran Church. Pastor Pam Marolla will officiate. There will not be a visitation. Private family burial will be in Maquon Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be donated to First Lutheran Church or Knox County Humane Society. Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services Galesburg Chapel is handling arrangements for the family. Online condolences may be given at

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