COWAN, Ida May Yvonne (LEE) -September 9, 1936 - July 19, 2021
On Monday, July 19th, 2021 in her 85th year, Ida passed peacefully at the Woodstock General Hospital, surrounded by her girls. Beloved wife and best friend to the late Ralph Victor Cowan for over 56 years. Devoted mother to Yvonne (Keith), Cheryl (Bernard), Tammy (Fred) and Victoria. Cherished grandmother to Rebecca (Gerald).
Ida was born to Charles and Ida May Lee (nee Lockyer) of Bookton on September 9, 1936. Her childhood was spent on the family farm where, as the youngest of 10 children, she learned the value of a strong will and quick wit, traits that endeared her to all those she met until the very end. She would often recall fond memories of singing to the hymns played by her mother on the family piano and large family gatherings that filled the house with the sounds of laughter.
From the moment Ida met Ralph, she knew she'd found her soul's faithful companion. They were married in November of 1956 in Norwich. Ralph prioritized the wedding over the purchase of new tires for his truck, making it clear to everyone that they were each other's truest love. Ida was always Ralph's strongest advocate and Ralph, her biggest defender. Ida and Ralph were perfect complements; they continued to bring out the best in one another throughout their lives. They formed an incomparable team, inseparable for the rest of their lives.
Ida dedicated her life to loving and supporting Ralph. Breakfasts ready for his early morning rise, lunches packaged lovingly and dinners warm and plentiful upon his return. Together, they filled their home outside Burgessville with love and laughter, creating a beautiful family of four daughters and one granddaughter, referred to fondly as their girls.
Ida supported and loved each of their girls as individuals. She had a deep understanding of what made them unique. She welcomed them with open arms, listened to them with an open mind and most importantly, loved them with an open heart.
As the baby of her own family, Ida shared a special bond with her youngest daughter Victoria. In the years since Ralph's passing, Ida treasured their connection not only as a mother and daughter but as friends. A natural caretaker, Ida was thankful for the support she provided and for the opportunity to support her in return.
Ida was an avid gardener, and her beautiful flower arrangements bring joy to this very day. She was a voracious knitter; her handcrafted argyle sweaters remain cherished hand-me-downs to countless generations of her extended family. In the kitchen, Ida's culinary skills filled tummies and hearts. Though her girls will try their best to duplicate them, her apple pies will be sorely missed. But, no tribute would be complete without mentioning Ida's great love of cards, especially euchre. Her competitive nature and strategic mind, a gift for any card partner.
No matter what she did or where she was, Ida worked hard to fill every room with love and laughter. She was generous with her insight, never afraid to disagree and always happy to explain why. Her quick wit and vivid memory allowed her to cut even the darkest mood with an expertly timed and strategically crafted funny story.
To those who knew her, Ida was simply unforgettable. Her strong will and legendary persistence were evident all the days of her life. Her bold honesty and unsinkable spirit made her a fiercely loyal champion for the ones she loved. She remains an inspiration to her girls and all those lucky enough to have had her in their corner.
It has been said that a legacy is measured by the positive impact we leave on the lives of others. In this regard, Ida certainly leaves the world a truly richer place than when she found it.
She was grateful for the care and comfort she received in her final days from Dr. Norman Yu and the staff of the Palliative Care Unit at the Woodstock General Hospital. It brought her great peace knowing that her beloved husband Ralph had received the same care in the same ward just eight years and three days earlier.
Honouring Ida Cowan:
Please note, there will not be a public funeral. Instead, the family asks that loved ones please honour Ida's memory with flowers sent to Brock & Visser Funeral Home, Woodstock, (519-539-0004) or by donating to the Canadian Cancer Society on behalf of her late husband, Ralph Victor Cowan.
Ida's unsinkable spirit and gregarious nature will be especially missed by her girls during this difficult time. Family and friends are asked to share their favourite memories of Ida so she may live on in the laughter of the ones she loved.
Canadian Cancer Society
PO Box 640 STN K, Toronto ON M4P 9Z9