Elora Velna Cowing


August 24, 1921
- February 13, 2009

LAGRANGE - Elora Velna Cowing, 87, wife of the late Shirley Earl Cowing, died Feb. 13, 2009, at a Bangor hospital. She was born Aug. 24, 1921, in LaGrange, the oldest of six daughters to Roy C. and Velma E. (Henry) Ames. Velna lived most of her life in LaGrange from 1921 to 1981. After the death of her husband in 1981, she lived in Orono, Veazie, Old Town and Brewer. A graduate of LaGrange High School, Class of 1939 and Bangor Commercial College in 1940, she was employed from 1963 to 1983 at the University of Maine, College of Business Administration. Velna was an active community member. Following in her father's footsteps as town clerk of LaGrange, she was the first woman in LaGrange to be elected to that office and served from 1950 to 1975. She was also the first woman to be elected to the office of second selectman of LaGrange and served from 1980 to 1982. She was a former member of the LaGrange School Committee, a former member and director of the University of Maine Employees Credit Union and a former member of Classified Employees Advisory Council. She belonged to LaGrange Extension Group for several years, was a member and past matron of Doric Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, LaGrange, and a member and past president of the American Legion Auxiliary. Her hobbies and interests included gardening, photography, sewing, craftwork, exercising, cooking, snowshoeing and traveling. She was particularly proud that she had physically been in all 50 states in the USA. Velna is survived by four children and their spouses, Joanne Shirley and John Dee Ellis of Alton, Derrill James and Mary Jean (Thurlow) of Monmouth, Christine Velna and Terry Lee Downing of Leominster, Mass., and Kenneth Roy and Valerie Laura (Howard) Cowing of Milo; 14 grandchildren, Michele J. McDougal, Sherry A. Ellis, Sheila D. Smith, John David Ellis, Roy B. Cowing, Walter J. Cowing, Anthony G. Downing, Justin L. Downing, Melanie C. Jones, Matthew C. Cowing, Christopher H. Cowing, Kendra M. Pietras, Abigail L. Dawson and George Cowing; and 21 great-grandchildren, Brian and Brianna Willey, Kyle McDougal, Hannah and Ian Smith, Emma Ellis, Emily, Hunter and Quinn Cowing, Annalise Cowing, Alexander, Austin and Mackenzie Downing, Jayden Downing, Lauren Cowing, Emma, Caroline and Adam Cowing, Liam and Sophia Pietras, Alexis Dawson, and three more babies soon to be born. She is also survived by four sisters, Barbara Ames Matson of Connecticut, Elfie and husband, Lawrence F. Small, of Montana, Helen F. Parish of Oklahoma and Patricia K. Nikodym of Connecticut; many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a sister, Rebecca Sereyko. Velna's family thanks the nurses and staff at St. Joseph Hospital, Bangor and Woodlands, Brewer, for their kind and compassionate care. A heart felt thank you is also extended to Ruth Weeks, a very special lady. Graveside services in the family lot at LaGrange Cemetery will be announced at a later date by Lary Funeral Home. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society, One Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, ME 04086-1240 or the American Heart Association, 51 U.S. Route 1, Suite M, Scarborough, ME 04074. Messages of condolence and memories may be expressed at www.laryfuneralhome.com.


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