Joseph Nathan Cowthran was born December 29, 1926 in Caspiana, Louisiana to the late Reverend James Cowthran Sr. and Vashti Simpson-Cowthtran. As a child of twelve, Joe received Christ as his personal savior of his own confesson and was baptized by Reverend J. Jenkins in 1938 at Palestine Baptist Church.
The Cowthran family lived in Frierson, Louisiana where Joe attended Magnolia Elementary School. The family later moved to Cedar Grove, Louisiana, where as a young adult Joe was employed by Allen Mills Manufacturing Company. In the early 1940’s the Cowthran family made another move to Shreveport, Louisiana.
In 1944, Joe met Lula Mae Taylor and on December 17th they were joined in holy matrimony. From this union five children were born, daughter Mary and son Joe were born in Shreveport, Louisiana. On the move again in 1949, Joe and Lula Mae moved their small family to their residence in Kansas City, Missouri, adding three more children, daughter Sandi, son Ray and daughter Diane.
As a resident of Kansas City, Missouri, Joe worked various jobs before acquiring a position at Sears Roebuck and Company as a janitor, in 1954. While at Sears Joe rose up the ladder to become the first African American employee promoted to their position of supervisor of both housekeeping and plumbing departments. Joe flourished and enjoyed a successful career of 30 years at Sears where retired in 1984.
Joe’s service to our Lord continued in Kansas City, Missouri where he and his family attended Morning Star Baptist Church under the direction of Reverend Eason. Joe became a member of Morning Star Baptist Church in 1950. During his membership, Joe was honored to be selected as a Deacon and become a member of the Deacon Board. He also joined several organizations; the Food Drive Program, the Missionary Board and the Church Choir. Later, Joe was elected President of the Seniors Alive Program and the men’s choir.
On April 15, 2019, God dispatched Angels from heaven to claim Brother Cowthran. Joe is preceded in death by his parents, Reverend James Cowthran and Vashti Cowthran; wives Lula Mae and Mary; nine siblings (sisters); Margaret, Allie Mae, Flossie, Eva Mae and Mable, brothers; Reverend Athan Cowthran, Oliver, Main and William, children; Mary Lee and Roy Jay. Although he is gone, his legacy will forever remain in our hearts.
He leaves to cherish his wonderful memories; his son Joe Cowthran (Marilyn), his daughters Diane Cowthran-Spicer (Darryl) and Sandi Cowthran and son in law Gerald Schiele, Jr., grandchildren; Jayla and Jessica Spicer, Michelle and Jonathan Cowthran, and Gerald III, Kenton (Karren), Marcus Schiele and Jenell Schiele-Watts (Christopher), siblings; Reverend James Cowthran (Betty), Ernest Cowthran and Marion Jackson, great grandchildren; Breonna, Kailah, Gerra, Unique, Gerald IV, Tamia, Kelcie, Ke’Auna, Kenton Jr, Taylor, Elijah, Phillip, Jaylynn and JoNylah, a host of great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and church family.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, April 26, 2019 at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. Visitation 9:00 A.M. Interment Forest Hill Calvary Cemetery.