Seattle Times Obituary: Mary Kreilkamp Cowan

I wonder if Mary wrote her own obituary. As I said, she would not want to mention that her destiny in life reached through forty years (including 15 years “cancer-free” as a young mother) of chronic, intermittent, increasingly debilitating cancer! And it’s true! Our extraordinary sister Mary lived a VERY full life even so.

For more, see this, this, this, and this.

OBITUARY: Mary Kreilkamp Cowan

Seattle Times

October 1, 2015

image-44537_20151001Mary Kreilkamp Cowan

Mary passed away peacefully on September 29, 2015, in Seattle, Washington, surrounded by her family. She was 62 years old.

Mary was born in Twin Falls, Idaho, on November 21, 1952, to Ben and Renee Kreilkamp. She graduated from Seattle University, where she met her husband, John Cowan. She was diagnosed with advanced stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma in her early 20’s, which she underwent successful treatment for. After college, she worked as a news reporter for several years in Denver, Colorado, and Seattle, Washington, at National Public Radio. Following her journalism career, she transitioned to teaching music and directing musicals at many different schools in the Seattle area, and abroad – in Melbourne. She later obtained a degree in Divinity at Seattle University, always following her passions.

Mary is survived by her husband John Cowan, her son Andrew Cowan, her daughter Meg Cornell, and her grandson, Maxwell Cornell. She also leaves behind her loving brothers Mark Kreilkamp and John Kreilkamp, and sisters Ann Kreilkamp, Paula Assaf, Katherine Kreilkamp, Marnie Schreck, and Kristin Dixon. It goes without saying if you met Mary once, you were already part of her clan. She will be missed by hundreds of friends, and the countless students that she has touched throughout her life.

Mary was lucky to have found a husband who cherished and adored her. He held Mary’s hand from the moment they said “I do” to the moment she passed to her next life. Mary and John have been symbols of Christ throughout these momentous life changes, and have inspired all who have met them to act with more kindness, more patience, and more love for all.

Her favorite pastime was playing the piano. Throughout her life, she loved the music of Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, and Schubert, and taught piano lessons up until recently. She also enjoyed the arts – theater, musicals, and poetry. One of her favorite poets was Rainier Marie Rilke, whose words she would have wanted to print here.

“…And the song goes on, beautiful.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, October 3 at 10:00 AM at St. Catherine Catholic Church

814 NE 85th St, Seattle, 98115

Hoffner Fisher & Harvey

Guest book at

I notice that the newspaper did NOT print the full poem as she wished. Here it is:

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 11.02.27 AM


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0 Responses to Seattle Times Obituary: Mary Kreilkamp Cowan

  1. Victoria Parks says:

    I am deeply sorry for the loss of your Sister. What a beautiful obituary. What an evolved soul. What a wonderful family. My deepest sympathy to all of you. She was an Avatar.

  2. laurabruno says:

    That is probably the most beautiful obituary I’ve ever read! Continued blessings and support to you and your family.

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