CHRISTOPHER TANNER COWDIN
On the 20th of December, 2017, the world lost an amazing husband, father, grandfather and friend. Christopher “Chris” Tanner Cowdin, 78, of Harrisville Mich., succumbed to pancreatic cancer at this home on beautiful Lake Huron with his family. Chris was born to Robert Cowdin and Phyllis (Tanner) in Detroit on Oct. 1, 1939 — the middle of three children, Nancy Seery, and Charles Cowdin. Chris is survived by his loving wife, Margaret “Peggy” (Ellison), children Rita Votta (Jim), Julie Cowdin, Kristy Zajac (Jeff), and William “Bill” Cowdin (Amanda) and cat Pollo. He left behind eight wonderful grandchildren, Emily and Alex Votta, Garrett Stratton, Christopher and Jane Zajac, Amelia, Adaline and Benjamin Cowdin.
Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 26, at McWIlliams Funeral Home in Alpena, Mich. A Vigil Service will be held at 7 p.m. The Mass of Resurrection will be held at St. Anne Catholic Church, All Saints Parish, in Alpena, Mich., on Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 11 a.m. with Fr. Stan Bereda as celebrant. A luncheon will follow. Interment will be at the Mt. Joy Cemetery in Black River, Mich., following the luncheon.
Chris graduated from the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Mich., in 1957. In his youth, Chris was very proud of his new cars and proudly drove up and down Woodward Avenue. On June 21, 1960, Chris married his first, and only, girlfriend Margaret “Peggy” Ellison Of Royal Oak. Together they made a beautiful home and raised four children. Chris was the owner of a 1946 Cessna 140A, which he sold for the down-payment to start his first very successful business in Dearborn – Auto City Piggyback, he continued to love flying until the day he died.
Their love for Harrisville led them to buy a vacation home on Lake Huron in 1981, two years later they moved to Harrisville full-time. Again, ever the entrepreneur, Chris opened another business — The Work Station and Star Staffing in Alpena, Mich., in 1985. Untiringly, he ran this business, providing many people in the Alpena area good jobs, until he sold the business in early 2016 to retire.
Chris was an incredible husband, priding himself in taking care of Peggy until he could no longer physically do so. As newlyweds, they used to drive around the Michigan countryside for hours, always in a four-door car, so he could take his beloved aging in-laws when they went driving and on vacation. He loved animals, sitting on the beach looking at the lake and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Chris Cowdin was an outstanding father and grandfather. He loved his children unconditionally — he never missed a game, event or activity. He reveled in their accomplishments, supported them in all their times of laughter and tears. He wanted nothing more than for his children to be happy and taken care of. Chris had eight grandchildren from ages 2-27 years old whom lightened up his world, even until the very last day. His family was the love of his life.
Chris had many great friends throughout the years. He was an active member and past president of both the Royal Oak and Alpena Kiwanis Clubs as well as The Traffic Club of Detroit and Alpena Toastmasters. He co-founded The McGruff neighborhood watch program in Royal Oak, volunteered for the Royal Oak Auxiliary Police, was a Boy Scout leader and District Commissioner, 3rd Degree member of the K of C as well belonging to several other organizations throughout the years. He was genuinely caring and kind — cracking jokes and giving the most amazing hugs. There were so many things Chris had hoped to do after retirement. He died too early to be able to do many of them and will be sorely missed by all who cared for him.
In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation the Alcona Humane Society or The Alpena Kiwanis Club to continue in Chris’ spirit of giving, caring, and sharing. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can view Chris’ life story and share memories.