Virgil Cowin Jr.
Virgil Eugene Cowin Jr., age 84, of Brownwood returned home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
Funeral Services for Virgil will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, September 10, 2021, at Coggin Ave Baptist Church with Tim Skaggs officiating; burial with Military Honors will follow at Eastlawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be held Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Blaylock Funeral Home. Arrangements are under the direction of Blaylock Funeral Home of Brownwood.
Virgil was born to Virgil Sr. and Albie (Horton) Cowin on December 31st, 1936, in Milburn, Texas. Virgil graduated from Brownwood High School and entered the service of the United States Navy shortly after. Virgil served as an aviation mechanic for 4 years in Maryland. It was during this time that he met his adoring wife of 63 years, Shirley Ruth Mitchell; they wed on May 29th, 1958, in Maryland.
Upon leaving the Navy, Virgil and Shirley returned to Texas where Virgil joined the Brownwood Police Department for 6 years and the Brownwood Sheriff's Department for 1 year. After serving with Brownwood law enforcement, he became a Special Agent for Santa Fe Railroad where he worked under the commission of the Texas Rangers for 29 years.
After 29 years with the Railroad, Virgil returned to the Brownwood Police Department where he served as elected Chief of Police for 14 years. During Virgil's tenure as Chief, his doors were always open to the community and his department. If he could not be found in his main office, he could always be found at his second office, The Red Wagon. This was where Virgil instituted a monthly Law Enforcement breakfast for all branches of law enforcement, including retired and active members.
As Chief, Virgil was a vocal advocate for the community. He helped implement the Brownwood Citizen's Police Academy, and also worked closely with Special Agent Robert Pounds to advocate for the construction of the Lehnis Railroad Museum and Visitor Center. Together Virgil and Sheriff Glen Smith worked tirelessly which culminated in the creation of the Brown County Law Enforcement Center, and a centralized emergency response dispatch center for Brown County. Virgil also worked closely with the Brownwood Bulletin to strengthen public and law enforcement relations.
While serving as Chief, Virgil was awarded Peace Office of the Year in 2004. In 2010, upon retirement he received the "Excellence in Law Enforcement" for 50 years of service from the Texas Rangers. After retiring as the last elected chief of Brownwood, this concluded his 50 years of law enforcement service.
In his personal life, Virgil was a member of Brownwood Mason Lodge #279, a member of The Order of the Eastern Stars Chapter 116, and a Shriner. He was awarded with a pinning ceremony noting his 50 years of service as a Freemason. Virgil was a member of Coggin Ave. Baptist Church.
Virgil was a patient, kind, and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was known as Pepaw to his grandchildren and holds a cherished place in their hearts.
Virgil is survived by his wife, Shirley Cowin of Brownwood; his son, Brian Cowin and wife Cindy of Belton; his daughter, Becky Clark of Brownwood; 5 grandchildren: Brandon Clark and wife Angie of Brownwood, Caleb Clark and wife Cameron Highland Village, Kolby Clark of Dallas, Breanne Cowin of Belton, Cody Cowin and Dylann Newman both of Belton; great-grandson, Quinn Clark of Highland Village; and close family friend, Melissa Perry of Brownwood. Virgil also leaves behind 1 brother, Travis Cowin and wife Casey of Lubbock; 1 brother-in-law, Roger Mitchell and wife Linda of Virginia; 1 sister-in-law, Edna Cowin of Early; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
Virgil was preceded in death by his parents, Virgil Sr. and Albie Cowin; his father and mother-in-law, Ed and Evelyn Mitchell; and by his siblings, Terry Cowin, Jerry Cowin, and Evelynn "Sis" Phillips and her husband, Archie Phillips.
The Cowin family would like to offer a special thanks to Dr. David Morales, Dr. Daniel Altstatt, and all other doctors and nursing staff that supported Virgil through this journey. In addition, the family would like to thank Hill Country Home Care, CMS, and Interim Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Coggin Avenue Baptist Church Building Fund or The Order of the Eastern Star College Scholarship Fund Chapter 116.
Online condolences for the family are welcome at www.blaylockfuneralhome.com.
Posted online on September 08, 2021