Roger R. Cowell, 82, of Oglesby died at 5:48 p.m. Jan. 15, 2015, in his home. Private family services will be held. Burial will be at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood. Full military honors will be conducted. There will be no public visitation.
Roger was born Nov. 18, 1932, in Spring Valley to Roy and Helen (Schultz) Cowell. He married Catherine Decaroli on April 16, 1955, in Holy Family Church, Oglesby. Roger served 31 years with the U.S. Air Force retiring in 1984 with the rank of colonel. During his military career, he served with both the NSA and at the Pentagon. His assignment was as vice commander of the 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Division. Roger was a command pilot with more than 8,200 hours flying time. He logged 1,083 combat flying hours while serving in Vietnam in 1968-69. His decorations included the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
After retiring from the Air Force, Roger accepted a position with Boeing Military Aircraft Co. in 1984 and remained with the company until 1991. He was a member of Oglesby Elks, a lifetime member of Oglesby American Legion, Air Force Association, a lifetime member of the retired officers association and Military Order of Daedalians.
He is survived by his wife; two sons, Robert (Andrea) Cowell of Glenview and Roy Cowell of River Forest; two daughters, Lisa (Tom) George of Mount Prospect and Laurie (Tom) Nelson of Cincinnati; and nine grandchildren; Kyle, Kay, Will, Rose and Frank George, Melissa and Daniel Cowell and Andrew and Amanda Cowell. He was preceded in death by his parents. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Oglesby Elks Crippled Children’s Fund, Oglesby American Legion or the donor’s choice.
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