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Posted By Whitney & Murphy On February 3, 2015 @ 8:45 am In Obituary | 9 Comments


Cowen, Russell 59, peacefully passed away on January 28th, 2015. He is survived by his wife Eileen and three children- daughter Erica and her husband Jake and two children Calvin and Estelle, daughter Jenny and her husband Bo, son Chris and his wife Amanda. Russell’s curiosity and creativity led him to learn and appreciate travel, music, nature, and art. He especially loved his backpacking adventures around Asia and Europe. He entered everything from miniature flower arrangements, to jewelry, to handmade Native American art in the local state fairs. He took home the grand prize among many other ribbons. Russell enjoyed being outdoors – gardening, fishing, sitting in the sun, building a pond in the backyard, and raising his many birds. Russell listened to all kinds of music and one of his favorite activities was attending live concerts with his friends. He was extremely talented in cooking and the presentation of food. Russell loved having people over to the house to share a meal. He worked professionally in the hotel business, in catering, and as a private chef. Russell was working at the Sacramento Hilton as the Executive Chef when he had the distinct honor of cooking for President Clinton. Russell also won many food awards and was honored as Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation. He was married to his college sweetheart, Eileen, for 37 years and they were blessed to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in Bali, Indonesia together. Russell loved being a father and grandfather and he will be missed by all who knew him. Visitation will be held in Phoenix, Arizona at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home on Thursday, February 5th, 2015 from 6:00 to 7:30pm with a Scripture Service at 7:00pm. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 5045 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix at 10:00am on Friday, February 6th 2015. Interment will follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in honor of Russell to hunger prevention organizations, Share our Strength at www.nokidhungry.org or St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix at www.firstfoodbank.org.  

Condolences for the family of “COWEN, RUSSELL G”

Condolence from Walter & Gert Leible on February 3rd, 2015 5:05 pm

Dear Eileen,
We are deeply saddened by the news of Russel’s passing.
Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family during these difficult times.
Walter and Gert Leible.

Condolence from Ernst Springhorn on February 3rd, 2015 6:16 pm

With deep feelings of sorrow,but know, Russel to be in a better place Backpacking,,Cooking and looking down on all of us!There is need real good Chefs in Heaven.
I would like to offer my condolences to the Family and friends!
God Blees Ernst

Condolence from Anabel on February 3rd, 2015 11:28 pm

Dear Eileen, Jenny, Erica and Chris, my heart goes out to you on the tragic loss of your Russell. He was a special dude, no doubt.. He was so very proud of you kids! Eileen, I know he loved you like no other. God Speed Russell, may you be whole and happy and free once again. Sincere condolences, Anabel

Condolence from Hans Jordi on February 4th, 2015 1:35 pm

Dear Eileen and Family.
I am very saddened on the loss of my co worker and Friend. We all will miss him greatly as he was loved by everyone.
My sincere Condolences to all the Family.

Condolence from Gary Harsnett on February 4th, 2015 7:41 pm

Dear Eileen, Erica, Jennifer and Christopher,

I want to let you know how sadden I am to hear about Russell’s passing. He was such a great, warm and kind hearted man! He always wanted to spread joy!
I remember for we were going out to a bar to listen to a band, and to celebrate his birthday. I bought and gave him 2 real scratcher lottery tickets and one FAKE one! Well, he scratched it off without me watching, thinking he was a millionaire, he wanted to buy the whole bar a drink!! Luckly, I was able to intercept that idea and pointed out it was a bogus ticket!! When I was thinking he wanted to ring my neck, he resorted to hug and a huge smile for saving him blowing a couple thousand dollars. I’ll never forget that smile! And there were several times he would come up out of the blue and make me bust out laughing uncontrollably! He was a true friend who was there when I needed him in dark times.
He is indeed in a much better place now and with his angel wings, watch over us all again! Rest In Peace, my friend! You will be greatly missed. Eileen and family, you are in my thoughts and prayers!!
Gary Harsnett

Condolence from maureen keating lessard on February 5th, 2015 3:22 pm

sending all my love.

Condolence from Collean Butler on February 5th, 2015 3:33 pm

Dear Eileen and Family,

Ecclesiastes 3: A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Physical miles may separate us today, but we are thinking of you and remembering Russell. If together, we would recall the stories of Russell’s glorious life—and I think he would like the word “glorious” …his “glory” years of family, creatively, and traveling the earth according to his own pathway– we could use the above verse as a starting point for every chapter in his book of life. (Although, he probably would prefer the 1960s song, Turn, Turn, Turn to a book.) I am sure you will have your own mental pictures, but as I read some of the lines, I can definitely picture him uprooting to move to a new place, building his career and starting over; laughing while dancing at his children’s weddings; scattering his painted stones at the swap meets; embracing his wonderful, patient wife; searching for himself and learning he was just fine the way he was; keeping—but not throwing away!

May you find peace and support in those surrounding you today. Love, Collean and Ralph

Condolence from Kevin Keating on February 7th, 2015 4:42 am

No one knows how you feel,
Because they weren’t there.
Temporal days of laughter
Dreams as light as air.

Our space is filled with many
Who’s best friend can’t be touched
Yet other senses tell us
The Heart is filled with much.

With love, as deep and wide
At times a sparkling blue,
As oceans, seas and rivers
And always run as true.

Time to let the tears,
Join with other waters,
As we search our way back home,
Adventurous, sons and daughters.

Can’t travel with them now,
So, truth I can deny,
And anger have it’s way
And yet, I sit and cry.

So, through the early mourning
A bargain, it is struck,
With God and men and self
The outcome, simple, wealth.

I sing a song of sad, dark pain,
Alone inside my soul.
A friend has gone home happy
Safe, content and whole.

Accept, life’s little sweets
Temporal, as they be
Ambrosia of the gods
His spirit is truly free.

Love, my brother.

Condolence from Bob Rauch on November 12th, 2016 9:30 am

Eileen, while traveling one day last year I searched for Russell online and noticed he had passed. While I lost touch with him, we worked together for a nice run. I finally saw this and just wanted to tell all who care that he was a great guy and a great chef and led a life of passion. I wish I could have seen him again. Sincere and belated condolences. Bob

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