Marion F. Cowling, 78, St. Louis, Mo., died Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012.
He was born on July 1, 1934 in Lockesburg, Ark. to Grover W. and Elsa Cowling.
He graduated from Mineral Springs (Ark.) High School, where he played basketball and football. He attended Southern State College in Magnolia, Ark. and taught school for a year before going to work for Missouri Pacific Railroad, where he eventually retired after 34 years. Following retirement, he served as a substitute teacher in the Spring (Texas) School District.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1956-58, receiving an honorable discharge and earning citations as a sharpshooter, marksman and a good conduct medal. Following his discharge, he returned to work with the railroad.
Cowling married Ollie LaVerne Hosey on April 8, 1953. They divorced in 1983. She died on Aug. 15, 2010.
At an early age, he learned to play the piano and could play anything after hearing it once. He enjoyed college basketball and football and was a lifelong rabid fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
He had a dream of returning to his boyhood home and operating the country store of his parents.
He is survived by one son, Randal K. Cowling of Owasso, Okla., a daughter, Rhonda (Bill) Rickermann, St. Louis; four grandchildren, Jennifer (J.D.) Reynolds and Emily Cowling of Topeka, Kan., Kyle (Kristen) Rickermann, and Corey Rickermann of St. Louis; great-grandson Liam Reynolds; and one brother, G. W. Cowling.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Kutis Affton Chapel, 0151 Gravois Rd. in Affton, Mo. The family will receive visitors at the chapel at noon.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations may be made to Make A Wish Foundation.