Elwood Lorrie Cowley Profile Photo
1944 Elwood 2024

Elwood Lorrie Cowley

August 2, 1944 — June 21, 2024

Elwood passed away peacefully on June 21, 2024, at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon, SK surrounded by family. 

The family would like to express our gratitude to Dr Balaton, Dr Peti, Dr. Shah, the Kidney Unit and all the staff at St Paul’s Hospital that supported Dad in his last days. 

He was predeceased by father, William Cowley (1999) and mother, Edwina Cowley (Call) (1999). He leaves behind his wife of almost 59 years Delores (Major) with whom they had three children; Sherry (Jody McConnell, and grandchildren Ava, Ryland, Aiden), Carla (Mike Bowles and grandchild Braden), Scott (Allison and grandchildren Ryane, Ian, Sophia), sister Willa Miller (Dennis and children Marlin and Lana) and brother-in-law Wayne Major (Loretta and children Amber, Tanya and Cory)

Elwood was born in Saskatoon on August 2, 1944, and grew up in Kinley, SK where he participated in sports and was deeply involved in the community. Elwood was a history buff and loved to read. These formative years had an enormous influence on his beliefs surrounding politics, friendship, community involvement and the importance of family. He loved to curl and play baseball. He spent many hours playing cards and board games with his cousins and neighbors. He attended the United Church in Kinley and was part of the church youth group Tyros. He was also involved in Cooperative school, Scouts and 4H in his youth.

He attended the University of Saskatchewan at the age of sixteen. He was on the Education Student Society Executive and heavily involved in the NDP Youth at the U of S, which reinforced his lifelong interest in politics. He served two terms as the President of the U of S Campus New Democrats 1963-1965 and President of the SK Young New Democrats in 1965 which resulted in lifelong friendships. He graduated attaining his B.Ed. with honors in 1965 and later attained his B.A. with a major in history with distinction in 1967. 

Elwood and Delores were high school sweethearts. Elwood’s first memory of “noticing” Delores was when she took dance lessons at his house. They were married in 1967 and had a marriage that spanned almost six decades. They shared many of the same interests; their love for baseball, being avid Blue Jays fans, both curling fanatics, a love of reading and playing games. They were likeminded about the importance of community and cherished time spent with family and friends. Another important part of their lives was the variety of pets they had or had “acquired” from their children over the years. They enjoyed travelling to different destinations, but their favorite was Waskesiu which has now been passed on to the next generations. 

 Elwood took his first teaching job in Assiniboia, SK. While in Assiniboia, Elwood became active in the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, coached basketball, hunted, curled, and played cards. In 1967, they moved to Regina where he taught high school at Thom Collegiate and played hours of APBA Baseball until he was elected to the SK Legislative Assembly in 1971. It was with immense pride he represented the Biggar constituency until 1982. He had a distinguished political career with many achievements, recognitions, and appointments. Some highlights include the appointment as Minister of Finance, Minister of Mineral Resources, and a number of other cabinet positions. Most recently, he was awarded with a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.

In a family memoir he reflected that he felt his biggest accomplishments in politics included being part of the formation of the Potash Corporation, SMDC (Cameco) and the Saskatchewan Children’s Dental plan.

He returned to teaching for one year in Regina in 1982 and then relocated to Saskatoon to pursue a career as an investment broker. In 1988, he was appointed to the Royal Commission on electoral reform and in 1991 he opened a successful consulting firm which he operated until retirement. 

 Elwood was also proud to be on the board of Great Western Brewery (SK grown company) and throughout his lifetime he was part of the care of Wheatfield Cemetery where many generations of his family are buried. In 1989, Elwood was part of the winning team in the Fall North American Bridge Championship, his love of Bridge spanning throughout his life. 

Continuing into retirement Elwood and Delores cherished their time with friends at dinner clubs, annual NDP Christmas parties and the Call-Martin family reunion. After retirement, family and friends became Dad’s focus. Elwood and Delores travelled throughout North America, spending many winters on the Island, travelling to visit Scott and family in the United States and always adding a road trip to each visit. Summers were spent at Waskesiu with their beloved grandchildren of whom they are so proud. 

Elwood will be remembered as having quick wit, a boisterous laugh, being gifted with numbers and his critical thinking skills. His care and compassion for others was a hallmark for the essence of who he was. He will be missed beyond words. Whenever you would leave his house or end a phone conversation he would always say “bye for now.” This is just our “bye for now” to our beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, a lifelong friend and mentor to so many. 

Remembrances can be made to the Arthritis Society for research to go towards Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) or the Kidney Foundation. Elwood never let either of these conditions define what he could or could not do. 

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July 27th at 2:00 pm in Kinley, SK (West of Saskatoon) at the Kinley Hall.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elwood Lorrie Cowley, please visit our flower store.

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