June Doris Cowan born at Hillier Township, Prince Edward County, Ontario on April 26, 1929 and passed away at Toronto, Ontario on June 14, 2023
June Cowan was born into the hard-working Benway family of Prince Edward County in the year of the Great Depression. Her mother was Mabel Naomi “Mae” Benway (1905–2004) and her father was William Franklin Benway (1903–1976). From a young age, June was helping out with chores on the family farm and was driving a tractor before she got her license to drive a car, indeed before she could even reach the pedals. She was very close to all three of her siblings: Ruth Beer (1925–2019), Greta Mae Heard (1931–1988), and Gordon William Benway (1934–2012), and their families. Family, home, and entertaining friends were June’s main love in life.
June married Clarence Patrick “Pat” Côté (1922–1962) in 1948 and the couple lived happily in Corbyville until Pat’s death at age 39. In 1968, June married Donald John Cowan (1933–2014), becoming a mother to his three children, Donna Mae, Norman John, and Verla Louise. Don’s work as an electrical engineer took the family from Belleville to Ottawa, where their daughter Valerie Ann was born in 1970. A later move brought them to Edmonton from 1985 to 1987, after which they returned to live in Kanata.
In her younger years June loved spending time at her cottage and bowling, an interest attested to by numerous trophies. Gardening and sewing were lifelong delights; she also cherished the company of the family pets, notably the beagle George and the cat Pickle. June and Donald enjoyed a shared passion for teaching dance (ballroom, round, and square); their home in Kanata hosted lively and sociable dance lessons on a weekly basis, as well as memorable New Year’s Eve parties for many years. June and Don travelled widely to attend dance conventions and their contributions were recognized with, among other honours, a Trillium Award and a Long Service Award from the Ontario Square and Round Dance Federation.
After Don’s death, June moved to Toronto on the last day of 2016. She made many new friends among the residents and staff at Hazelton Place Retirement Home. Her memory, wit, compassion, and lively sense of humour were undimmed until the very end; she died at home surrounded by family after a brief illness. She will long be remembered for her love of family and friends, and her unconditional kindness to all with whom she interacted. June is survived by her children Donna Mae (Terry), Norman John (Mary Anne), Verla Louise (Richard), and Valerie Ann (Robin), her grandchildren Adina (Robbie), Dylan, James (Sephra), Elizabeth (Jordan), Samantha (Dylan), Shayne (Katie), Laila, Tara, and Sophie, and great-grandson Silas Walter Cowan, who arrived three days before her death. June is also survived by her sisters-in-law Judy Benway and Margaret Cowan, and by many beloved nieces and nephews and their families. Heartfelt thanks to the staff at Hazelton Place for their loving attention to June in her final years.
Visitation at the Garden Chapel of Tubman Funeral Homes, 3440 Richmond Rd (between Baseline and Bayshore Dr.) on July 22nd at 12:00 pm; service in the chapel to follow at 1:00 pm. Donations may be made the Kanata Foodbank or a charity of your choice. Condolences, tributes, or donations may be made at www.tubmanfuneralhomes.com.