The Obit For Harold Cowan

Harold Cowan

Published in The Miami Herald from 3/9/2009 - 3/11/2009

COWAN, HAROLD, one of the earliest builders of luxury homes in the Pinecrest area of Miami, died Sunday, March 8, 2009 of congestive heart failure at age 90.

A former professional athlete, he excelled in basketball and baseball, and later became a well-known basketball referee and baseball umpire. Harold was a member of the South Florida Basketball Officials and Coaches Association, working many of the high school and college tournaments around the state and in Latin America.

He felt that World War II was an honorable war and volunteered to join the US NAVY Seabees Construction Battalion, but was assigned to "Special Services" as an Athletic Specialist.

Later in life Harold became an excellent tennis player, joining the Royal Palm Tennis Club in Miami, where he had many long-time friends.

Both in Miami at Royal Palm and in Burnsville, North Carolina, at the tennis court on his beloved farm, Harold coached upcoming young tennis players. He loved young people and young people loved him!

Thirty-five years ago, Harold and his wife, Millie bought an abandoned farm in Burnsville, North Carolina, where they spent six months each year fixing it up, planting fruit trees, and preparing for self-sufficient living. Until recently they had cattle, chickens, and a vegetable garden. Harold even built a canning cellar, learning from local country friends creative ways to adopt a more frugal yet satisfying lifestyle. It was almost as if he could foresee our current national crisis.

Most outstanding about Harold was his strength of character and generosity of spirit. He appreciated life, friendship, family, community and the value of hard work on behalf of the common good. A minister friend described him beautifully, as "kind, gentle, loving, and greatly concerned for all humanity."

Harold is survived by his wife of 68 years, Millie, and a daughter, Juanita Brown. A son, Michael, died in 1974 at age 24. A Memorial Café is planned both in Miami and in Burnsville, the dates for which will be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations on Harold's behalf to the non-profit World Café Community Foundation, 166 Homestead Blvd, Mill Valley, California 94941.

Arrangements through RIVERSIDE GORDON MEMORIAL CHAPEL, (305) 531-1151.

To visit this Guest Book Online, go to www.MiamiHerald.com/obituaries.