Lena Cowles passed away peacefully with her family by her side on May 11, 2016, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam. She was born on June 18, 1928, and worked alongside her parents, Edna Frederick and DeWitt Dorn, to make and sell fur-lined gloves as a teenager. Her father later sold real estate and steer, for which the family occasionally accompanied him on sales trips. One such trip was to Texas where she saw Hank Williams Sr., perform.
In addition to music, Lena loved all of the arts: visual art, literature, textiles (sewing) and performance. After graduating from Gloversville High School, she was accepted to Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute, Albany Business School, and Green Mountain Junior College. She decided to stay in Gloversville and work for Argersinger’s Department Store on Main Street. She then met her late husband, William C. Cowles Sr., while he was doing carpentry for her parents and they were married on December 31, 1949.
An avid and skilled gardener, Lena grew vegetables each year and tended to lush flower gardens containing peonies, poppies, lilies, daffodils, and many other varieties. She loved animals and kept many dogs and cats, chickens, pigs, and other animals over the years. Lena was an excellent cook and seamstress. She drove a bus for Mayfield Central School District and was a lifelong member of the North Main Street United Methodist Church.
Lena is survived and remembered fondly by her children, David Cowles, Diane Mansmith (Dean), Stephen Cowles (Sarah), William Cowles Jr. (Kim); grandchildren, Joshua Mansmith, Jessica Mansmith, Christina Sitts (Michael), George Cowles (Shannon), William Cowles III (Nicole), Nathan Cowles; and great-grandchildren, Griffon, Jillian, and Carson Mansmith, and Connor Sitts.
To honor Lena’s life, a viewing will be held at A.G. Cole Funeral Home Inc, 215 E. Main Street, Johnstown, on Friday, May 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be conducted at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, at the funeral home. Interment will be in Fern Dale Cemetery, Johnstown. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Gloversville Public Library, 58 E. Fulton St., Gloversville, NY 12078.
Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting our website at www.agcolefuneralhome.com.