Known as Dee, she was born in Ridgeway, Mo., April 28, 1938, to Dorothy and Jasper Simpson. They moved to California then back to Kansas City, Kan., in 1942 when her father took a position with North American Aviation. Her father retired from the Kansas City Kansas Board of Education in 1979 as a teacher and administrator.
Dee attended Roosevelt Grade School and graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1955.
Dee and Ralph Dugan Cowan were married on March 9, 1957.
They had four children: Cheryl Willis, Overland Park, Kan.; Laura Kyle, Drexel, Mo.; Ronald Cowan, La Cygne, Kan.; and Michael Cowan, Overland Park, Kan.
Four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Surviving also is her brother Jasper Simpson, Kansas City, Kan.
Dee was involved in Ralph’s businesses while raising four children and was always at Ralph’s side supporting him in every way.
During the 18 years Ralph raced cars all over the Midwest, she and the kids traveled with him and they were always there for “Dad.” Dee was always sacrificing her needs to be supportive to Ralph and the kids. It was always family first.
Dee and Ralph moved from Kansas City, Kan., in 1966 to Leawood, Kan., where they lived until moving to the La Cygne area where they built a house in 1983.
Dee was an Amateur Radio Operator (HAM) for 25 years, achieving the highest license available from the FCC.
She and Ron have organized the radio club’s Hamfest open house every February at La Cygne’s Community Building for 18 years.
A malignant tumor was detected December 8, 2017, and removed from her colon on January 4, 2018. Dee was otherwise very healthy and with much deliberation she and Ralph chose to follow the doctors’ suggestions and had her first chemotherapy on March 7th of this year. There was the “normal” nausea that goes with this treatment. Otherwise no problems surfaced. Her second treatment on March 21st caused negative effects and on March 25th she was admitted to St. Luke’s emergency room with the symptoms of a chemo reaction. She was eventually diagnosed with Febrile Neutropenia, a condition known to be caused by chemotherapy treatment. It has a 96 percent mortality rate.
She fought very hard to save her life but it slipped away every day for 23 days. She passed away April 17th at 10:43 p.m. at St. Luke’s South with her husband and children at her side.
No donations are suggested, but if you would like to do something for your loved ones, have them consider all options and all possibilities of any negative effects before they subject themselves to any type of chemotherapy. There is a very good chance Dee would have lived many good years if the choice had not been to try chemotherapy.
She will be missed by anyone who knew her; she was
“Special”, not many made like her.
Schneider Funeral Home. Family only service, burial in Brooklyn
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