Cover photo for Rose Cowles's Obituary
1932 Rose 2019

Rose Cowles

October 22, 1932 — December 16, 2019

Rose Marie Savord Cowles, born October 22, 1932, in the small upper peninsula town of Hermansville, MI to William and Rose (Fabry) Savord. Rose was known as "Tootsie" to her U.P. family and friends, but here in lower Michigan, she was known as "The Yooper" and she was very proud of it.  She graduated from Hermansville High School in 1951 and represented her school as their prom queen her senior year.  Rose also had the honor of representing the Upper Peninsula as their "Potato" Queen that same year.  Rose is survived by one brother, Lawrence (Martha) Savord of Hermansville, MI.  Also, six children and one step-son, daughters, Joan VanGundy, Victoria (Dan) Laupp and sons, Paul VanGoethem, Peter (Judy) VanGoethem, Anthony James VanGoethem, Andrew Wolcott and Antony Cowles.  Also surviving her are her beloved grandchildren, Jennifer (Scott) Wood, Vincent (Shauna) Laupp, Michael (Rebekah) Laupp, Amy (David) Wieller, Joshua VanGoethem, James VanGoethem and Caitlyn Cowles and 9 great grandchildren.  Rose was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Brian Cowles, sister Betty Whitens, and three brothers, Howard, Wesley, and Gary. Rose was a homemaker while her children were young and was then employed by Win Schulers Restaurant in Marshall from 1968 to 1977.  Upon moving to Battle Creek, she took a position at Transamerica Insurance from which she retired in 1994.  Rose suffered from rheumatic fever as a young child, which resulted in damage to the mitral valve in her heart.  The valve needed to be replaced when she was 50 with a "St. John's" Mechanical Heart Valve.  In a quiet room you could hear it ticking, hence, she was given the nickname of "Nina-heartbeat" by her grandson, Josh.  As advised by her cardiologist, this mechanical valve kept right on ticking until the end. When living in the small town of Norway, Michigan in the upper peninsula, she and her young family lived within walking distance to Vulcan Lake and its public beach.  On most every warm sunny day in the summer, Rose could be seen pushing a buggy with her young children in tow to the beach to spend the day.  Rose loved the water and shared this love with her children.  Rose served as a Campfire Girl Leader when her daughters were young and assisted her scoutmaster husband Brian with the boy scouts in the Battle Creek Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and served as a mia-maid leader, member of the relief society and did home teaching with her good friend Violet Fox. Rose and Brian also hosted and supported young people on missions through the LDS church.  Rose loved camping with her husband, Brian along with their grandkids.  They even camped every year in their own Teepee at the primitive bow shoot at The Wilder Creek Conservation Club, of which they were long-time members.  Rose also enjoyed shooting long bow and was a member of the Christian Long Bow Association.  The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, December 19, 2019 at the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home & Cremation Services.  Funeral services are scheduled for 12:30 p.m., Friday, December 20, 2019 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1312 Capital Ave. S.W., Battle Creek, with interment to follow at Fort Custer National Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Hospice of Kalamazoo or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 19, 2019

5:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)

Richard A. Henry Funeral Home

703 Capital Ave SW, Battle Creek, MI 49015

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Funeral Service

Friday, December 20, 2019

Starts at 12:30pm (Eastern time)

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

1312 Capital Ave SW, Battle Creek, MI 49015

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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