Bennett Young Cowan, Sr. ’42

Bennett Young Cowan, Sr. ’42, of Bristol, Tenn., died peacefully on Dec. 2 at Bristol Health and Rehabilitation Center surrounded by his devoted family. He was born in Bristol on Nov. 22, 1919, to Taylor Olinthus and Pearl Wallace Cowan. Cowan was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Agnes Bachman Cowan; his brothers, Albert Wallace Cowan ’31 and Taylor O. Cowan, Jr.; and his parents. A caring physician for over 35 years, Cowan graduated from Davidson in 1942 and Harvard Medical School in 1945. After his internship and residency training at Philadelphia General Hospital, he served two years as a captain in the Army Medical Corps at the Veteran’s Hospital in Johnson City. He returned to Bristol in 1951 and began his practice of internal medicine, starting a partnership with his lifelong friend, Dr. Fred V. Vance, in 1953. One of his most rewarding accomplishments as a physician was his organization of the medical staff to administer the first polio vaccine to the Bristol community in 1962. He was also instrumental in creating the medical clinics at Bristol Memorial Hospital that served those in the community without access to quality care. He was also able, along with his former partners, Drs. Fred Vance and Fred Greear, to donate his former medical office building to the Healing Hands Health Center in 1999. After retiring from medicine, Cowan enjoyed many years of traveling with his wife, developing his farm near the Holston River, and volunteering with local SCORE and Habitat for Humanity chapters. He also received great pleasure in researching and expanding his and his wife’s family genealogy. He never tired of recounting stories and sharing laughs about his ancestors to his children and grandchildren. Cowan is survived by his four children, Bennett Young Cowan Jr. ’71 (Anne), 108 Stonecroft Cir., Bristol, TN 37620-4937; J. Tadlock Cowan (Susan Thompson); Agnes G. Cowan; and Hanson B. Cowan ’78 (Mary McElaney). He is also survived by nine grandchildren, two great-granddaughters, and numerous nieces and nephews.