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Obituary: Allen Wilson Cowley, M.D.

Allen Wilson Cowley, M.D.

1902 ~ 2007

Died of heart failure in Naples, Florida on October 10, 2007, at the age of 104.Born in 1902, to a large and challenged farming family in a log cabin next door to the LDS Ward-House and near the poor and marginal family farm in Venice, Sevier County, Utah. He was the 9th of the 12 children of Charles W. Cowley and Florence Wilson Cowley.

At the urging of his mother, he was the only child to leave the farm and matriculated at the University of Utah upon his graduation from Richfield High-School in 1921. He worked part time in a Salt Lake Medical Laboratory to finance his education. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1925 and completed his medical education at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1929. He completed his medical intern/residency program at that University Hospital in 1931 and in that same year he married Norma Smith of Tremont, Pennsylvania, a nurse at the hospital.

Dr. Cowley maintained an active practice for 42 years in Harrisburg, PA. He became Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. He established the first free clinic in Cardiology in the 1940's at the Polyclinic Hospital where for many years he donated substantial time each week. He was the Chief of the Department of Medicine at Harrisburg Polyclinic Hospital for many years, President of the Dauphin County Medical Society, President of the Pennsylvania Heart Association and the President of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. His pioneering and visionary advances in medical care delivery were exemplified by his establishment of the first successful group medical practice in central Pennsylvania (Cowley and Associates) in the early 1950's. He advanced concepts of private, non-profit medical insurance as Chairman of the Board of the Pennsylvania Blue Cross and Blue Shield. In his retirement years he devoted his efforts to the application of biomedical engineering to medicine and was one of the founding Board Members of the Whitaker Foundation on which he served for 50 years (1956-2006). He contributed to many civic activities including the local chapter of Rotary International and as a member of his local Masonic Lodge.

Dr. and Mrs. Cowley retired to the warmer climate of Naples, Florida some 12 years ago.

Dr. Cowley is survived by Norma, his cherished wife and partner of 76 years; their daughter, Carole Greenlund of Camp Hill, PA.; their son Dr. Allen W. Cowley, Jr. (wife Theresa) living in Milwaukee, WI; three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. He is also survived by the aging but remaining 28 Cowley nieces and nephews, born to his brothers and sisters, and in whom he always remained passionately interested and connected.

Dr. Cowley enjoyed the strength, integrity and industry of those early Utah Mormon Pioneers of which he came. He had a remarkable personality that combined professionalism and hard work with a deep compassion for the less fortunate, generosity towards all, unbridled optimism and a wonderful sense of humor. He remained loyal and grateful to the University of Utah for its contribution to his life. He loved his family, including his many brothers and sisters and their offspring during their lifetimes, as well as his place of birth in Venice, Utah, which he continued to visit when time permitted. He also loved his patients, colleagues and friends and he loved every moment of his 104 years. He remained vital and lucid until the end.

Private burial services are pending in Naples, Florida.