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Obituary: Mildred Gloria Cowan

Former Syosset resident Mildred Gloria Cowan, passed peacefully on Saturday, September 14 at her home in Peconic Landing, Greenport from general heart failure. She was 90 years old and died in the company of her son, Thomas, and Nana, her health care companion of two and one half years.

She was preceded in death in May of 1996 by her husband Frederick after 51 years of marriage and also by her only sibling, her brother, Charlie Helfant, in 2004.   

Prior to moving to Greenport in 2006, Mildred had a home in Mattituck for 20 years, and lived previously in a number of towns in Nassau County: Syosset, Laurel Hollow and Oyster Bay Cove. Additionally, she resided in Norwalk Connecticut, where she grew up and Astoria, Queens when she first got married.   

During the first 12 years of her marriage she and Freddy lived a stereotypic post WWII suburban lifestyle of male breadwinner and woman housewife and mother. However things changed in 1957 when she and her husband gave birth to their second child; a business they soon enthusiastically became proud of, the privately owned company: Frederick Cowan & Co., Inc. It, in its field, became a well-known and highly regarded industrial manufacturing Corporation and at its high point employed close to 80 employees.

From the proceeds of the company, Mildred and Fred came to live and lead a varied resourceful personal and professional life. Besides belonging to a few golf & boating clubs and over the years extensively traveling, at one point in time in the mid 1980s, they owned a business property in Riverhead and simultaneous homes in: Mattituck, Oyster Bay Cove, an apartment in Manhattan and a year round “summer home” and dock in Key Largo, Florida.

After her husband’s passing, Mildred continued to work in her business and also became involved in a number of local east end activities including: The Redeemer Episcopal church in Mattituck, the Riverhead Women’s club, Mattituck Historical Society, the gem society of the North Fork, and the local Red Hat Society. She maintained connected to all of those activities until her health forced her into retirement in Greenport. Over the last few years her affairs had to be managed.  However, she was fortunate. She continued to be able to participate in a number of activities, including visiting a number of the East End’s local sandy beaches many times during the past summer, and sitting on a chair under a large sun umbrella to take it all in with calmness and a smile—something that those who knew her were happy for.