Kathleen Ann (Schlough) Cowley

June 11, 1941 ~ August 5, 2020 (age 79)

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Kathleen Ann (Schlough) Cowley

Kathleen Ann Cowley, age 79, passed away peacefully at her home on August 5, 2020.  She was surrounded by her loving family when she felt it was time to say goodbye and visit some old friends and family members who were anxiously awaiting her arrival to Heaven.  Kathy was born June 11, 1941, in Graytown, Wisconsin (close to her home in Ridgeland, Wisconsin), to August and Viola Schlough.  On October 5, 1963, in the lovely little town of Ridgeland, she married the man of her dreams, Merton Charles Cowley, and they celebrated almost 57 years of marriage together.  

Kathy was a true people person.  Her infectious laugh, beautiful smile, and quick-witted sense of humor was treasured by all that knew her. She loved attending coffee parties and birthday club gatherings with her best friends, and she never missed a family birthday party.  Her grandsons and great grandsons will never forget her wonderful birthday cakes and unique singing of “Happy Birthday.”  Grandma Kathy also made sure that every Christmas gathering at her home would be a treasured event.  Along with her husband Mert, they went out of their way to make Christmas at the Cowley House an unforgettable experience.

Kathy didn’t have a ton of hobbies, but she was very passionate about the few she did enjoy.  She was one of the greatest shoppers of all-time (just ask any of the Herbergers employees that witnessed professional shopping at its finest).  She truly loved traveling to the Oakwood Mall every December while her husband Mert sold hunting books,and she would spend endless hours finding the finest gifts for the upcoming Christmas.  In addition to shopping, Kathy and Mert truly enjoyed their trips to Vegas, Turtle Lake, Danbury, and Hayward, where they became skilled Keno players and loved sitting side-by-side, hoping to strike it rich.  Whether they won or lost, their treasured love for one another was always the greatest jackpot of all.  Lastly, the Annual Cowley Family Trip to Las Vegas was filled with love and laughter.  Kathy would save her waitress tips for the entire year, and then relax at either The Sands or The Flamingo, enjoying mornings at the pool and the rest of the day trying to hit the big one.  Her daughter-in-laws were often her gambling and shopping partners, and their times together were filled with wonderful memories.

Although Kathy was talented in many ways, her greatest talent was being the best mother and grandmother that one could ever dream of.  She never missed a basketball game,  track meet, or Little League game that her sons Daniel and David ever played in.  When her boys became varsity basketball coaches, she continued to support them and their teams.  Her proudest moments were watching her first grandson Joseph Cowley playing for his father Daniel at Maple-Northwestern games, and later watching her second grandson Trey Cowley playing for his father David at Black River Falls.  If she wasn’t attending sporting events, she was attending her grandson Reese’s plays, going to her cabin in Danbury with her great grandsons, Landon and Ben, or attending her grandson Brooks’s kindergarten Christmas concert.  

Kathy started her working career as an elementary teacher in Elk Mound, Wisconsin.  After 4 years of teaching, Mert and Kathy moved to Chetek so Mert could pursue a teaching career at the junior high school, and Kathy could focus her efforts on raising their two sons, Daniel and David.  Once they were both in school, she took a job waitressing at Bob’s Grill, and she would spend the next 44 years as the best waitress in town.  Her bubbly personality and compassion for others will never be forgotten by anyone she waited on.

Kathy is survived by her husband Mert, her two sons Daniel Cowley (Judith) of Lake Nebagamon and David Cowley (Tracey) of Black River Falls, four grandsons: Joseph Cowley (Samantha) of Lake Nebagamon, and Trey, Reese, and Brooks Cowley of Black River Falls, and two great grandsons: Landon and Benjamin Cowley of Lake Nebagamon.  She is also survived by her sister Jane (Art) Sorenson of Ridgeland, four nieces: Heidi (Todd) Swartz of Menominee, Jodie (Dick) Prine of Ridgeland, Diane (Tom) Koser of Rice Lake, and Missy Cowley-Huff of Chetek, seven nephews: Jamie (Larry) Sorenson of Minneapolis, Jeremy (Kate) Sorenson of Hastings, MN, John (Susan) Sorenson of Kimberly, Tom (Hani) Cowley of Onalaska, Jimmy (Diane) Cowley of Georgia, Collin (Laura) Cowley of Cameron, and Tony (Gerri) Cowley of Barron, and her sister-in-law Becky (Mike) Cowley of Barron.  Lastly, Kathleeen is survived by her lifelong special friends: Jonna (Gordon) Hanson of Chetek, Gail Frye of Chetek, and Pat and Bill Rhiger of Chetek.

Kathy is preceded in death by her parents, August and Viola Schlough of Ridgeland, her in-laws Mert Sr. and Mildred Cowley of Barron, brother-in-law Mike Cowley of Barron, sister-in-law Nancy (Jim) Weise of Spring Brook, and niece Shelly Skempf of St.Croix Falls.

The Cowley family will hold a private celebration of life Labor Day weekend.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Eau Claire Hospice.

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