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George "Geo" Cowles
April 12, 1937 ~ March 15, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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George “Geo” Cowles, age 85, of Elk River, Minnesota, and formerly of Mission, Texas died on March 15, 2023 in Elk River. He was born April 12, 1937 in Iowa City, Iowa the youngest of Park and Lulu (Miller) Cowles’ five children. He was preceded in death by his parents, Park and Lulu, sister Delores Chensvold, and brothers Stanley and Ken.
George was raised on the family farm in rural northeast Iowa. When he was 17 he enlisted in the Army and served two years in Germany as a paratrooper and vehicle mechanic in the 82nd Airborne. At the end of his military service, he returned home to complete his education. He graduated from West Union High School with the Class of 1957. Not one to overlook an opportunity, he used his GI Bill to further his education at the Nebraska Vocational Technical School in Milford, Nebraska and earned his Welding, Diesel Repair, and Electrician degree. George stayed in Nebraska and worked for Burlington Northern Railway in Lincoln as a diesel refrigeration mechanic.
George married Frances “Darlene” Solomon on December 28, 1959, and the couple resided in the Lincoln area for 15 years where they raised six children. In November of 1974, the family moved to Elk River where he started a center pivot irrigation business and then well drilling business. Later, George joined Murphy Warehouse as a diesel mechanic where he worked until his retirement in 1997.
After retiring, George stayed in the Elk River area for a few years in which he kept busy with several odd jobs and ventures. George and Darlene began wintering in Mission, Texas in 2005 and moved to Mission in 2011 where they remained until 2022 when they returned to Elk River to be near family.
George was known for his quick wit, ability to talk to anybody, and an uncanny ability to drive across the country without a map; and he could fix or repair almost anything. As a husband, father, grandfather, and friend he has no equal. He will be missed by many.
George is survived by his wife, Darlene of Elk River, Minnesota; his children Kevin Cowles (Marsha) of Ankeny, Iowa; Ken Cowles (Kirsten) of Zimmerman, Minnesota; Steve Cowles (Julie) of Whitefield, Maine; Lisa Estrem (Jim) of Williamson, Georgia; Dave Cowles (Brenda) of Zimmerman, Minnesota; and Nancy Petrich (Tom) of Elk River, Minnesota; his brother Bob Cowles (Beverly) of Ossian, Iowa; eighteen grandchildren; and thirty great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be Thursday, March 23rd from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Dare’s Funeral Home in Elk River, Minnesota. Memorial services will be held at Central Lutheran Church, 1103 School St NW, Elk River on Friday, March 24th at 11:00 AM with visitation one hour prior at 10:00 AM. Those unable to attend the memorial service may watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykbm5CLdNjg
A private interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery will be held later. In lieu of flowers, memorials in George’s name are preferred to the Disabled American Veterans charity at www.dav.org.