Jerry L. Cowan '51

Jerry L. CowanJerry Louis Cowan was a devoted husband and father, a skilled attorney, and a civic volunteer whose leadership benefited Big Brothers/Big Sisters and his Sigma Chi Fraternity Chapter. A former senior partner at the Cincinnati law firm of Frost & Jacobs, Jerry entered the Chapter Eternal on August 6, 2007. He had faught courageously against the complications of lung cancer for several years. He was 80.

Jerry retired from what presently is Frost Brown Todd in 1997 after being associated with the firm for 41 years. He was also general counsel to the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and helped organize the Greater Cincinnati Foreign Trade Zone.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Jerry was the son of William Lincoln Cowan and Avis Spencer Cowan. He served as a cryptographer with the Army Air Corps in 1945 and 1946. Then he attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where he was initiated into Mu Chapter of Sigma Chi. He was a halfback on the undefeated football teams of 1947 and 1948, which were coached by Woody Hayes. A campus leader, Jerry was inducted into Blue Key and Omicron Delta Kappa. He received a degree in government and history in 1951.

Jerry graduated from the University of Virginia Law School, where he was class president and an editor of the Virginia Law Review, in 1956.

Active with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati for 20 years, he served two terms as president in the 1960s. He was instrumental in organizing the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation of Hamilton County, a fundraising arm of the organization, and served several terms as its president and treasurer.

Jerry was a trustee and vice president of the community advisory board of the Hoxworth Blood Center of Cincinnati. And he participated in the "Winners Walk Tall" program of the Cincinnati Public Schools, working with elementary children to promote scholarship and ethical standards.

Brother Cowan was a skilled and experienced attorney. He gave those talents and his sharp intellect to the planning and early guidance needed to establish the new Mu Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity Foundation in early 1998. For the next nine years, from May 1998 to May 2007, Jerry continued his service to Mu Chapter through his work as the Foundation's Secretary.

He was a member of the Cincinnati Country Club and the University Club of Cincinnati.

Jerry's survivors included his wife, Lee Steel Cowan; two sons, Grant Spencer Cowan and Breck Martin Cowan; and three grandchildren.

All honor to his name.

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