Jack Boyd Cowles

Published 2:04 pm Thursday, May 24, 2018

3/29/32 ~ 5/23/18

Jack Boyd Cowles, 86, of Groves, a native of Hallsville, Texas, who grew up in Marshall, died Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at his home.

Papa Jack, as he became known to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, had been married to Dorothy “Jean” Babb Cowles for 61 years when she preceded him in death in 2015. They met in college at East Texas Baptist College in Marshall before moving to Groves after their marriage. He continued his education at Lamar State College in Beaumont where he earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing in 1961.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

They were members of First Baptist Church-Groves where they taught Sunday School together for many years in the youth department until he became the teacher of the senior adult men, where he continued to teach for many years. He loved to sing and was a member of the church choir then later was active in the senior adult choir known and the Sonshine Choir, which would perform for nursing homes in the area as well as at the church.

Papa Jack was an Eagle Scout and his family took many camping, hunting and fishing trips and summer vacations with their dear friends Bert and Beverly Reaves. He shared his knowledge of life and the outdoors for several years in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s as Scoutmaster of Troop 79 in Groves.

He retired from Gulf-Clark-Chevron in 1986 as a supervisor in the payroll department. He worked at Gulf for 32 years after starting as a clerk in the warehouse and working his way up.

His wife called him a weekend warrior during the four years he spent in the National Guard, first in Marshall then in the Golden Triangle. He attained the rank of sergeant but never touted his military service because he knew so many people a little older than him who went to war in World War II, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.

Before going to work at Gulf, Papa Jack owned and operated Cowles Toy Palace on Nederland Avenue in Nederland. He was a skilled carpenter and after retiring from Gulf he and his wife bought and remodeled a number of rent houses in Groves. After retirement he was also an active volunteer in the Hometown Harvest program in which he would collect food donated by area grocery stores and deliver it to the Triangle Soup Kitchen in Port Arthur.

He was the son of Carl Cowles and Faye Boyd Cowles, had one brother, James, and two sisters, Patsy and Jean, all deceased.

He is survived by one son, Roger Cowles and his wife, Celines DelValle, of Groves; two daughters, Robbie Bethea and her husband, Richard, of Bridge City, and Regina Kelley and her husband, Dean, of Groves; grandchildren Jack N. Cowles of Groves, Robert Segovia of Austin, Katy Piske of Houston and Ben Cowles of Austin, John Crowell of Katy, Sabrina Harland of Webster, Chris Kelley of Austin, Racquel Bass of Austin, Andrea Mena of Lafayette, La., Chris Bethea of Colorado, and Ashley Newton of Bridge City; and great-grandchildren Grayson Black, Olivia Newton, Harper Newton, Sloan Bethea and Liam Bass.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Grammier-Oberle Funeral Home with the Revs. Joe Worley and Charles Miller of First Baptist Church-Groves officiating. Visitation will be from noon-2 p.m. preceding the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at Oak Bluff Memorial Park.

Family members ask that instead of plants or flowers, donations be made to the Adult 1 Sunday School class at First Baptist-Groves. Thanks are also extended to the staff at Oak Groves Nursing Home, Compassion Hospice and toMichelle Broussard, who helped give Papa Jack wonderful care in the last weeks of his life.