Frank N. Cowan—August 15, 1936 - August 28, 2015
3He was called affectionately, although somewhat formally, Mr. Cowan. He was also known as Counselor, Mentor and Hokie. Friends called him Podge. His wife, Marianne, called him Sweetie. Most proudly, he was called Dad and Pop. But, names alone cannot describe Frank. He was larger than that. What carried him in his 79 years, and what will be sustained as his legacy, will be his graciousness, his genuine charm, his integrity, strength, passion for knowledge, pursuit of excellence and commitment to serving others.
With clear blue eyes, a firm handshake and a contagious smile, Frank never met a stranger. He wanted to know you. And, you felt you knew him instantly. He was a man with infinite kindness. In his engagement with others, from store clerk, to delivery person, to opposing attorney, to judge, Frank treated people with the kind of respect rarely seen. He was a true gentleman.
He focused on helping people find and sustain their own success. And, in so doing, they could achieve their boldest goals. He believed in the goodness of people and the importance of freedom. And he was certain we all shared in the responsibility of service and empowerment of others.
This commitment to service propelled him to work on several boards and committees. Since 2008, Frank had served on the National MS Society, Virginia –West Virginia Chapter’s Board of Trustees. And in 2013, he became the Chairman of the Board. In recognition of his passion and commitment to the Society and all of the community, the Chapter has renamed our most prestigious honor “The Frank N. Cowan Cup of Hope Award,” to be presented annually at the Richmond Dinner of Champions.
For those that would like to make a gift in honor of Frank, we have set up a memorial fund on our website (http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/frankcowan).