On April 10th, 2021, my mom, Alta Faye Mcmillin, left this earth to join my brother, Robert Earl Cowan, and my sister, Amanda Faye Sterry, in Heaven. There to meet her also are those who have gone on before: her father, Minor Cotton; mother, Margaret LeEllen Riggins; stepfather, Howard Riggins; brothers: L.E. Miller and Earl Cotton; sisters: Angela Danette Miller, Kathryn Solomon, Margaret Gurno, and Lue Rossow and; brothers-in-law: Cecil Gurno, Leon Rossow and Henry McElroy. Our beloved “Faye,” as she was known, was also preceded in death by her nephew, Gary Gurno, and niece, “Rosie” Gurno.
Faye believed in serving others and volunteered throughout her life in support of her family and others in need. She embraced hard work and exemplified what it means to have “the heart of a volunteer.” A woman of independence and self-reliance (... and even sometimes stubbornness), Faye was a pillar of strength to everyone with whom she had any relationship at all! Faye was an inspiration to others and always spoke from her heart; she never let an opportunity pass to uplift another with words of positivity and a “You can do it!” attitude. Faye overcame many tragedies in her own life, but she never let them define her or hold her back from being a better person for them, ever growing in her faith in Jesus Christ and looking forward to being reunited with those she had lost. Faye is survived by: her son, James Richard Cowan, Jr.; daughter-in-law, Kirsty Forbes Cowan; grandchildren: Kristyn Sambay and husband Brenton, Nathanial Cowan, William Cowan and fiancée Hanna, and their mother, Shelly Cowan and; grandchildren, Matt Miller and Jenna Miller; great-grandchildren: Asianna, Isaiah, Jonah, and “Ladybug” Sambay; sisters: Norma Jean McElroy and Martha Ann Baggett and; brother-in-law, Marion Lee Baggett.
Our family will hold an open Celebration of Life and Balloon Release on May 8th, 2021, with details forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any gifts be made to Faye’s preferred charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org), in her name.