John S. Cowan of Kalispell and Polson passed on March 11, 2019. John was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, on March 7, 1937, to John D. Cowan and Elizabeth Fowler Cowan. The family soon moved to Charleston, South Carolina, and subsequently in 1949 to Stamford, Connecticut. He attended the Hotchkiss School where he met lifelong friend and Polson resident Chuck Jarecki. A graduate of Middlebury College, John received an Master of Science in Accounting degree from the University of Wyoming.

John owned and served as CEO and Chief Fiscal Officer of two post-secondary and proprietary schools: Wyoming Technical Institute (1970-1977) and Bryman School (1977-1996). For 20 years, John consulted as a certified public accountant auditor for Title IV student financial aid programs at post-secondary educational institutions. Of particular note, he consulted to the U.S. Department of Justice and was admitted as an expert witness for the prosecution of educational institutions for misuse of student assistance funds.

Upon moving to Polson, John continued his consulting practice in the areas of education, new business development, accounting and the administration of nonprofit organization. He advised the work of the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology by designing an accounting system to comply with standards and updating student assistance Title IV regulations.

John derived enormous satisfaction from his contributions as a founder and board member of the Greater Polson Community Foundation. In his capacity as treasurer, John worked to implement procedures that ensured the safe and prudent investment of Foundation funds.

His family and beloved friend Suzanne Booker will miss John’s steady, caring and protective presence. His quiet, self-effacing generosity defined his life. Many experienced him as a man of few words. But those fortunate enough to be the recipients of those words considered them pearls and remain forever grateful. He passed in peace, confident in God’s grace.

John Cowan is survived by three children, John G. Cowan, Wayne Cowan and Wendy Windham; sister, Kay Cowan; grandchildren, Cameron, Chante, Allison, Stephanie and Michael Cowan; and great-grandchild, Nolan Lloyd.

His wife Elaine Cuklanz Cowan predeceased him in 2009.

Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at Buffalo Terrace Chapel, 40 Claremont St., Kalispell, MT 59901.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Greater Polson Community Foundation, P.O. Box 314, Polson, Montana 59860.

Messages of condolence may be shared with the family at The Lake Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.