Obituary : Carole Cowan
We lost our beloved Carole on June 7 after years of battling a host of illnesses. She beat the cancer that afflicted her some 25 years ago, however, she spent the ensuing years fighting the ailments that rose out the cancer treatment. She was 51 years of age.
She was born in Irvington, N.J. and lived in New Providence, N.J. for 20 years before moving to Plainfield, N.J. after her marriage. She attended and graduated from Allen W. Roberts Elementary School, New Providence High School, Elizabeth General School of Nursing, and Union County College.
Carole is survived by her husband, William Dunscombe, her parents George and Connie Cowan of Edgartown, (formerly of New Providence, N.J.); her siblings: Michael (Peggy) Cowan of Fanwood, N.J., Cynthia (Victor) Kurylak of Tewksbury, N.J., and Christopher (Christine) Cowan of Stirling, N.J. She is also survived by her eight nieces and nephews: Karen, Kathy, Laura, Kevin, Kelly, Peter, James, and John; and her five great nieces and nephews: Kate, Jack, Julia, Hailey and Colin.
Carole was a daughter of the Vineyard in her heart, in love with the spirit of the Island since first coming to our Katama family home in 1979. She spent many wonderful days on the Island, oftentimes to convalesce following some surgery or another. She would spend many days at Memorial Wharf reading books and soaking up the fantastic view of Edgartown Lighthouse and the energy of the bustling harbor. She would always pick up the latest Phillip Craig novel whenever she arrived. She would also purposefully position herself on the front porch, so as to intercept the mailman, the garbage men, the UPS guys, and the passing runners, walkers, and bicyclists on Crocker Drive. She would engage them in a quick chat and everyone left feeling uplifted.
Despite her ailments and challenges, Carole always had a smile, a positive and uplifting outlook, and a genuine concern for your well-being. She was a sympathetic listener and an empathetic friend. She never took pity on herself or allowed others to do so. She had a special gift to help people see the bright side and she used it to great effect during her life.
She seemed to have the sensibilities of an older age. She loved all things beautiful: poetry, song, flowers, and clothing. She was a true, natural beauty and she always took pride and care in the way she dressed and kept up her hair and makeup, even when confined to her bed. The hair dryers couldn't keep up and she burned through one after another. In her teen years, when mini-skirts were the fashion, she was known to leave the house in an "acceptable" outfit, only to stop at her girlfriend's house to change before going to school. You could also see it in the way she decorated her home, kept her gardens, and composed the wonderful hand-written notes she was known for sending. She was a hopeless romantic, "in love with love" as we used to say, and she carried this idealism throughout her life.