Our obituaries page allows for you to light a candle for a loved one or leave a guest comment. You are able to search for obituaries by first and last name or by the date of death.

Obituaries » Frances Rae Cowan

Frances Rae Cowan

July 18, 1925 - January 4, 2018

Monday, January 08
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Memorial Services of Iowa Funeral Home
4208 North Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
(515) 964-0592

Tuesday, January 09
10:30 AM

Memorial Services of Iowa Funeral Home
4208 North Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
(515) 964-0592

Obituary Viewed 2442 times

Subscribe to updates for Frances Cowan

Please choose your subscription settings below, you can unsubscribe through email at any time.

Email me when someone posts in the guestbook

Email me when an update is made to the obituary

Email me on the anniversary of passing


Frances Rae Cowan, God’s faithful, beautiful, loving servant was welcomed joyfully home by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on January 4, 2018.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 9, 2017 at Memorial Services of Iowa Funeral Home (4208 N Ankeny Blvd). A visitation will be held 5 to 7:00 p.m., Monday, January 8th, also at the funeral home.
Frances was born to Clara and Frank De Forest on July 18, 1925 in Ames, IA, but grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio with 2 brothers, Sherwood and Jack.
Her life was always filled with music! She studied classical piano under musicians whose legacies dated back to Beethoven & Hayden. She also played oboe, English Horn, organ, ISU Carillion bells, hand bells, electric bass, & accordion.
In 1944-1947 Fran attended ISU receiving a B.S. degree in Home Economics and then went on to teach HS in Denver for 2 yrs.
At ISU, Fran meet Marlow, her musical, ragtime piano player, love of her life husband of 69 years. Together they gave their lives, selflessly sharing their God given musical gifts with the world as You-Tube stars, on Good Morning America, entertaining orphan homes, hospitals, prisons, churches, and delighting audiences wherever they performed with piano, accordions & anything that would make a musical sound.
With their love for children, Fran & Marlow created & directed a youth chorus (boys & girls 8-18 yrs.) The group sang, rang bells, & performed comedy musical novelty shows worldwide. Fran wrote & directed all the musical arrangements for the groups & became 2nd mother during those 27 years to over 500 children while on those trips.
In addition, Fran taught piano lessons for 50 years, was an excellent cook & seamstress sewing clothes for her family, piano accompanist for HS competitions, church organist, hand bell choir director, Sunday school teacher, attended bible studies, grew veggie & flower gardens, wrote weekly family letters for 65 years, went on white water adventure canoe & camping trips, tutored reading disability adults for DMACC, & assisted Marlow when & wherever needed each summer for 16 years as he directed the YMCA camp in Boone.
Frances truly devoted her life in service to God, her husband, family, & to the world around her; blessing all with her gifts, smiles, puns, love, & music! She will be so greatly missed! Frances is survived by her 4 children: son Greg (Starlyn) Cowan of Colorado Springs, CO, son Glen (Wanda) Cowan of Indianola, IA, daughter Deanna Rae Cowan Shour (Mark) of Maxwell, IA, son Scott (Elizabeth) Cowan of Mattawan, MI; 12 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; her brother Sherwood Deforest of Tallahassee, FL; & many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Suncrest Hospice or Samaritans Purse, C/O Glen Cowan, 1602 W. Euclid Ave., Indianola, IA 50125.

Light A Candle

Light A Candle for a loved one, leave your name and choose an image.

Choose a candle or special image.