Larry Cowen, 68, beloved son, brother, uncle, and wonderful friend to many, died on Aug. 29 in Atlanta after a courageous battle with a relentlessly aggressive form of Parkinson’s disease. Born on Sept. 25, 1949, in New York City, son of Bette V. and David J. Cowen, he attended Northside High School in Atlanta and the University of Georgia. He was a lifelong, ardent Georgia Bulldogs football fan, and he loved to watch their games with his friends. Even as illness took its toll, he eagerly awaited the start of the upcoming football season.
Larry worked for 32 years at Northside Hospital, transporting patients and later delivering vital supplies to various departments, all the while brightening the days of many patients and staff members with his wit and good humor. Well-liked and respected by his colleagues, Larry was extremely proud that he never had to apply for new assignments, but instead was sought after because of his conscientious work and the obvious enjoyment he got from helping others. Following retirement,
Larry maintained friendships with numerous fellow employees and also volunteered at the hospital greeting visitors. During recent stays at Northside as a patient, he was heartened when doctors, nurses, and other staff recognized him from his work there.
The phrase, “He never met a stranger” fit Larry. Outgoing and kind, he nurtured friendships formed decades ago during high school and college. He was a mainstay of our family, keeping in touch with his nieces and nephews, as well as his Aunt Sylvia and her family. With every call, he shared his concern and love. And Larry had a warm sense of humor; always gentle and never belittling.
Larry responded to health challenges throughout his life with grace, patience and optimism. The most important thing for Larry was his relationship with other people. No matter how sick he became, he immediately was cheered if a friend or relative called or visited. He will be so missed by us all.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Bette and David, and is survived by his siblings, Michael (Naomi), Stephen (Julie), Alan (Lynda), and Debra (Beth); nieces, Dena Morton, Aviva Cowen, Ilana Cowen, Susie Cowen (Ross), Kelly McCaig (Jon), and Rhonda Hickey (Jim); nephews, Jason Cowen (Rachel), Jeff Campanella (Emily), and Ross Ronan (Susan); grand-nieces, Rebecca, Elisheva, Leah, Orla, and Madeline; and grand-nephews, Felix, Reed, Donovan, Logan, Aidan, and Vincent. He is also survived by his aunt, Sylvia Leikin, and cousins, Celia Stell (Doug), Howard Leikin (Terry), and Steven Leikin (Chiye).
The family wishes to express its appreciation to the many fine health-care profess-ionals who treated Larry, and the caregivers who assisted him during the last year of his life. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation (Parkinson.org).
A funeral service was held Sun., Sept. 2 at Temple Sinai, followed by burial at Greenwood Cemetery. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care.