Farming Rural 07

Cecil Burdett Cowles

November 7, 1932 ~ June 14, 2020 (age 87)


BELLEVUE, MI - Cecil Cowles, age 87 of Bellevue, passed away unexpectedly June 14, 2020 at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital from complications of a Stroke, with his loving daughter at his side.                       

Cecil was born November 7, 1932.  He was a graduate of Lakeview High School, Battle Creek, MI. Cecil married the love of his life; Lois Rose Smith on April 9, 1955. They shared 56 years of marriage until Lois passed away in 2011.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughter, Laura (Doug) Stewart; granddaughters, Rachel (Dan) Symonds and Heather Burdett; Great grandsons Brayden and Carter Symonds; Sister JoAnn Benakovich; the treasured Conlogue family, Mary and Tim, their children Emily, Tyler, and Jake; Cecil’s dear lifelong friend of 75 years James McQuern; and his loving friend Ginny Sue Lewis; Step-grandsons Nathan (Kate) Stewart and Ian Stewart. Also surviving are many wonderful nieces, nephews and their families, in addition to Buddy Bub his faithful poodle.

Cecil was preceded in death by his parents, Velma and Clyde Cowles and brothers Leonard and Clyde Cowles.

Cecil was a proud Veteran of the Korean War being identified as a ‘Top Gun’ tank Gunnery and skilled sniper Marksman.

Cecil enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. His favorite activity was time spent with Lois and their dog Tiffie, traveling and collecting antiques. He had one of the largest collections of American Indian artifacts and relics. He was an avid reader of all types of cultures and religions; a profound historian. He spent his life studying the American Indians and their beliefs.  He lived and practiced their ways of living; customs and ceremonies. He was given the honorary name of Natalkawski meaning ‘A Man of All People’. He was a skilled equestrian; he broke many horses in his day and later in life raised and showed Tennessee Walker horses. After retirement Cecil and Lois bought a historic farm house and loved the life of farming. He enjoyed hunting and was skilled at archery and sharp shooting.  He made his own and many others their bullets for their firearms. People often called him the “Last Old Cowboy.”

Cecil retired from the Kellogg Company of Battle Creek. He was a proud member of the National Rifle Association of America, The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and Kellogg 25 Year Club.

A Graveside service with Military Honors will be held 1:00 pm Thursday, June 18th at the location of East Leroy Congregational Church Cemetery; 1997 H Drive South, East Leroy, MI.  Preceding the funeral service light refreshments will be provided at the East Leroy Congregational Church for the opportunity to visit with friends and family.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Pediatric Neuroscience Center at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 100 Michigan Street, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Memorial contributions will support Emersyn Hyder, a close family friend who is a member of the Helen Devos Miracle Family for Infants who have suffer a stroke.

Cecil’s family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the physicians and nurses at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital Neurologic care unit, and his family physician Dr. Thomas Ignazak who rendered the most incredible compassionate care to him and our family.  “May God Bless you all”

There is an African Proverb that states “When an Old Man dies; a Library burns to the ground”

Memorial contributions can be mailed to the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services 2838 Capital Ave SW, Battle Creek, MI 49015.  Leave a personal message for the family and sign the online guestbook at  Arrangements are entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services Battle Creek Chapel.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Cecil Burdett Cowles, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
June 18, 2020

1:00 PM
Leroy Congregational Cemetery
1997 H Drive South
East Leroy, MI 49051

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