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Linda Barnett Cowan, 76

Linda Barnett Cowan, 76

Linda Barnett Cowan, 76, of Mills River, formerly of Webster, went to be with the Lord on Monday, May 19, 2014, following a period of declining health. Her final days were spent surrounded by many of the family and friends she cherished.

She was born June 15, 1937, in Mills River. The daughter of the late Kathleen Bagwell Barnett and Robert "Robbie" Sharber Barnett, Linda enjoyed growing up on the family dairy farm in Mills River. With undergraduate and master's degrees from Western Carolina University, Linda taught school in Lexington City Schools, Henderson County Schools, and in Jackson County Schools. The majority of her three decades of teaching were at Fairview Elementary in Sylva.

Linda was a devout Presbyterian. She served as a deacon and Sunday School Secretary at First Presbyterian Church in Sylva, where she faithfully brought her children up in church. Her retirement years were spent worshipping at Mills River Presbyterian, the church she grew up in. Linda was also a former member of the Alpha Delta Kappa teaching sorority and the Mills River Red Hat girls.

Linda enjoyed gardening, canning vegetables, making baskets, sewing and raising chickens. She had an incredible work ethic. She quietly helped students who needed rides home from school activities or wanted a ride to church. Her journey on earth started and ended on the family dairy farm, and she really enjoyed a retirement view of her Daddy's barns on the Old Homeplace. She especially liked being outside appreciating God's creation.

Linda was preceded in death by her husband, William J. "Bill" Cowan, who died just six weeks prior to her passing. They had been married for 48 years.

Three children were blessed to call her "Mama" and will miss her dearly. Her children are Jill Cowan Gregg and her husband Brian, Jan Cowan King and her husband Wade, and Jimmy Cowan and his wife Diana. Linda was fondly called "Nana" to her five grandchildren: Maggie King, Clay Gregg, Colby Gregg, Molly Cowan and Macie Cowan. Linda is also survived by her faithful sister, Myra Crisp, of Mills River, and many cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends as well as her four-legged retirement companion, a border collie named Queenie.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at the Mills River Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 24, 2014. Following the service, friends and family will gather in the church fellowship hall for a time of remembrance and visitation.

In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Black Mountain Home for Children at 80 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC 28711.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting

Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of arrangements.