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Ankeny, IA 50023
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Memories & Candles

“What a terrific woman. She & Marlow left so many memories within me & helped me develop long-term friendships. Thoughts & prayers go out to the...Read More »
1 of 11 | Posted by: Renee Patton-Knowles - Albia, IA

“Fran and Marlow left an indelible mark on the world and it was all fantastic and memorable. The entire family of Larry and Bev Everett were lifelong...Read More »
2 of 11 | Posted by: George Everett - Casselberry, FL

“Fran and Marlow taught an entire generation about music, sharing, responsibility, and respect. Through many years, I have thought of Fran and Marlow...Read More »
3 of 11 | Posted by: Nick Peters - Des Moines, IA

“Years ago my daughter, Kim enjoyed being in your youth bell chorus. I am thankful for those memories.Kim passed away two years ago at age 57. Bet...Read More »
4 of 11 | Posted by: Pat Van Lent - Ankeny, IA

“SORRY TO HEAR OF THE PASSING OF FRANMANY HAPPY MEMORIES WITH THE CHORUS ”
5 of 11 | Posted by: MARK & BRETT EKLUND - AZ

“Dearest Glen, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. Please know I am thinking of you. Wrap yourself in those many warm and loving memories....Read More »
6 of 11 | Posted by: A friend

“"Mine eyes have seen the Glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. He hath loosed the...Read More »
7 of 11 | Posted by: Susan Griffiths - Des Moines, IA

“Rest in peace, Fran. I loved being involved in music with you at Faith. ”
8 of 11 | Posted by: Linda Glantz Bacon - Ankeny, IA

“I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear mother, Glen. May all your happy memories comfort you in the coming days and months. God bless. May...Read More »
9 of 11 | Posted by: Colleen McKenna Johnston - Ankeny, IA

“So much of who I am is because of this awesome Godly woman. Thanks Fran for the years of encouragement you offered to me and so many kids around the...Read More »
10 of 11 | Posted by: Dan Pratt-Goodrich - Indianola, IA

“Such a beautiful, talented person! And so deboted to her faith and her family. Wishing comfort and peace to her children, and their families. ”
11 of 11 | Posted by: Kay Oberender - Des Moines, IA


Music Emblem

Frances Rae Cowan, God's faithful, beautiful, loving servant was welcomed joyfully home by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on January 4, 2018.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 9, 2017 at Memorial Services of Iowa Funeral Home (4208 N Ankeny Blvd). A visitation will be held 5 to 7:00 p.m., Monday, January 8th, also at the funeral home.
Frances was born to Clara and Frank De Forest on July 18, 1925 in Ames, IA, but grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio with 2 brothers, Sherwood and Jack.
Her life was always filled with music! She studied classical piano under musicians whose legacies dated back to Beethoven & Hayden. She also played oboe, English Horn, organ, ISU Carillion bells, hand bells, electric bass, & accordion.
In 1944-1947 Fran attended ISU receiving a B.S. degree in Home Economics and then went on to teach HS in Denver for 2 yrs.
At ISU, Fran meet Marlow, her musical, ragtime piano player, love of her life husband of 69 years. Together they gave their lives, selflessly sharing their God given musical gifts with the world as You-Tube stars, on Good Morning America, entertaining orphan homes, hospitals, prisons, churches, and delighting audiences wherever they performed with piano, accordions & anything that would make a musical sound.
With their love for children, Fran & Marlow created & directed a youth chorus (boys & girls 8-18 yrs.) The group sang, rang bells, & performed comedy musical novelty shows worldwide. Fran wrote & directed all the musical arrangements for the groups & became 2nd mother during those 27 years to over 500 children while on those trips.
In addition, Fran taught piano lessons for 50 years, was an excellent cook & seamstress sewing clothes for her family, piano accompanist for HS competitions, church organist, hand bell choir director, Sunday school teacher, attended bible studies, grew veggie & flower gardens, wrote weekly family letters for 65 years, went on white water adventure canoe & camping trips, tutored reading disability adults for DMACC, & assisted Marlow when & wherever needed each summer for 16 years as he directed the YMCA camp in Boone.
Frances truly devoted her life in service to God, her husband, family, & to the world around her; blessing all with her gifts, smiles, puns, love, & music! She will be so greatly missed! Frances is survived by her 4 children: son Greg (Starlyn) Cowan of Colorado Springs, CO, son Glen (Wanda) Cowan of Indianola, IA, daughter Deanna Rae Cowan Shour (Mark) of Maxwell, IA, son Scott (Elizabeth) Cowan of Mattawan, MI; 12 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; her brother Sherwood Deforest of Tallahassee, FL; & many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Suncrest Hospice or Samaritans Purse, C/O Glen Cowan, 1602 W. Euclid Ave., Indianola, IA 50125.