Nancy Eleanor Cowdrey

Nancy Eleanor Cowdrey, of Columbia, Missouri, died peacefully in her home on September 22, 2015, with family by her side. She was 81 years old.

Nancy is survived by her children, Bruce Cowdrey, Dunlap, Illinois; Paula Cowdrey, Bloomington, Illinois; Paige Cowdrey (Cirks), Columbia, Missouri; grandchildren, Tyler Cirks, Overland Park, Kansas; Morgan (Cirks) Sechler, husband Dylan, great granddaughter Nahla Sechler, McPherson, Kansas; sister-in-law Millis Frisch, husband Peter, Windsor, California; nephews, Jason Morris, Windsor, California; and Josh Morris, wife Katie, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma).

Nancy is preceded in death by her husband, Charles “Charlie” Cowdrey, her parents Richard and Cora Bruce, and her half-sister Mary Elizabeth Rule, Smithville, Missouri. She grew up in Shenango, Pennsylvania and Smithville, Missouri. She married her high school sweetheart, Charlie Cowdrey on February 27, 1953, and they were blessed with 58 years together.

Nancy earned a Bachelor’s degree from Pittsburgh State University, and a Master’s in Education from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. She enjoyed a 40 year career teaching elementary school children. Nancy had a strong passion for performing arts, gardening, and reading (you could always find her reading a great book)!

A private celebration of her life will be scheduled by the family in the near future. The family would like to thank Hospice Compassus and the many friends and family for their care and support. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospices of America Foundation at


  1. Teresa Clarkson Young on September 24, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    God Bless you Cowdrey family. Our thoughts,prayers & heartfelt sympathy go out to you all. Paige, you know how special your mom was to my Misti & to me. I loved being her aide @ Country View & she always had a message to give Misti when she would see me & I always had one from Misti back to her! She will be missed & remembered with smiles from our family.

  2. Valerie Potter on September 25, 2015 at 11:23 am

    My condolences on Nancy’s passing. I enjoyed working with her and sharing memories of Smithville, Trimble and the Rule family. She was a great teacher and fun to work with.

  3. Linda Huff on September 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Nancy was an inspiration to other teachers. She always put students first.
    We met as a small prayer group before school. She kept many in our prayers each day.
    Nancy loved iced tea and wanted to real silver iced tea spoons to stir her tea.
    I appreciate all she did for us. She was a grand lady.
    Thank you, Nancy!

  4. Mary Butler on September 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    What a sweet, loving, and caring woman Nancy was! I remember when I got a job at Country View Elementary School (Winfield, KS) as an SFA reading teacher back in the fall of 2006, she took the time and invited me into her home to help me learn what I needed to know in order to begin teaching. I will never forget the kindness she showed then, and continued to show for several years later, as we worked together. May she rest in peace.

  5. Sarah Culver on September 27, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    My condolences to the Cowdrey family. I was so sorry to read of Nancy’s passing. She was like a mother to me while working together at Irving and Country View. We shared many personal and teaching moments and loved just being together. She loved reading books and we shared our favorites. God has a special place for this very special person.Love to all.

  6. Mark Wappel on September 29, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Please let the Cowdrey’s know the Wappel’s are thinking and praying for your family. Best Regards Mark Wappel and family

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