Doris Hughes Cowden

Doris Hughes Cowden, 82, ended her long journey through this life on August 31, 2018 with family beside her. Doris was born in Ashdown, Arkansas on November 30, 1935 to Charles Hughes and Arla Helms Hughes. She spent her formative years in Gillham, Arkansas where her mother and father operated a small grocery store. In 1949, the family moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Doris graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1953. She completed three years at the University of Arkansas before being swept away by a young Air Force Lieutenant, David Cowden, for a life of family, travel, and adventure. 

She began her second career as a secretary in 1979, which culminated in becoming Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the university she had once attended. She gave her advice, assistance, and support to all who came to her. Her only desire was to make Fulbright College the best it could be.

Finally, Doris was a Master Gardner with a passion and love for all growing things. She created and tended a beautiful garden for her family that gave them immense pleasure. She assisted Susie Brooks in judging potted plants at the Washington County Fair and answered many inquiries about gardening. Doris loved black coffee, raising orchids, hosting large dinners for family and friends and settling down with a good book.

She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Her family and friends grieve her loss. Her suffering has now ended and ours has begun. She was well cared for at the end of her life at The Gardens at Arkanshire with assistance from NAPS and also in the Willard Walker Hospice Home.

Remembrances may be made to Fulbright College or the Willard Walker Hospice Home Foundation.

Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Lt. Colonel David Allen Cowden; children Gretchen Ewen (Cowden) and husband Professor Charles Ewen; Melissa Drake Johnson (Cowden); David Allen Cowden, Jr. and wife Angie; Patrick McGee Cowden and wife Maria; Julie Starbird (Cowden) and husband Neal; grandchildren Gretchen Berry, Kathryn and Madeline Ewen; Emily Elaine Johnson; Fletcher and Spencer Cowden; and Jacob and Sarah Cowden; great-grandchild, Ethan Scallorn; sister-in-laws Julia Hughes Jones and Linda Beene Ballard; and adoptions of the heart Amber Kandur and Dan Wallace. Lastly, Doris’s dearest friends: Carol O’Connor, and Lynn Fisher. Doris was predeceased by: parents, Professor Charles Hughes and Arla Helms Hughes Wheeler, and brother, Charles “Charlie” Hughes.

No services are scheduled at this time.

Cremation arrangements by Beard’s Funeral Chapel.

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