Tribute To Jerry Cowan

Tribute To Jerry Cowan

Jerry Cowan 1926 - 2001
In Memorium

Jerry Cowan, 75, of Nyack, New York, passed away on December 24, 2001. Jerry was well-known to many in the postcard collecting world for his ongoing research into the postcards of Raphael Tuck & Sons, and most notably for his efforts to compile a comprehensive checklist of Tuck’s North American Views. His work spanned several decades and connected him with an extensive network of contacts, acquaintances and friends in the postcard community. He will be deeply missed by friends and family.

Jerry was born in Geneva, New York on August 17, 1926, the son of Chauncey and Edna Skinner Cowan. From early childhood he developed an interest in theater, and he and his younger sister Jean attained neighborhood renown for their backyard and garage productions. Toward the end of World War II he was stationed in a replacement depot in the Army in Italy, where he was active in amateur theatrics and entertainment of the soldiers. Upon returning home he pursued his love of theater, earning a BFA in drama at Ithaca College. Jerry joined the faculty of the college and taught stagecraft for the next several years. In 1956 he married Mary Westlund, a Speech and Drama major, and started a family. Shortly thereafter they moved to the New York City area and eventually settled in Nyack, where Jerry worked for many years as a production electrician on Broadway shows and musicals including such classics as Fiddler on the Roof, Guys & Dolls and Cabaret.

Jerry’s interest in collecting started at a young age, and he was active in stamp collecting for much of his adult life. Upon retiring from the theater in the early 70’s he opened the Nyack Stamp & Coin Shop, which he operated for about 10 years before retiring again and turning his full attention toward his new interest in antique postcards. Jerry was an avid writer and derived tremendous enjoyment from sharing his interest in postcards with others. He published numerous articles including over 60 installments of his “Tuck American Notebook” published in Barr’s Postcard News between 1991 – 2000. Among his other pursuits was the Foster Grandparent program where he served in the classroom of a local elementary school for many years, and advising on local college and high school theater productions.

Jerry is survived by his sister Jean, three children – Susan Hawkins, David and Andrew - and five grandchildren.

A Newspaper Interview With Jerry Cowan

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© 2002 jd@jdweeks. com

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