Joe Cowley

Obituary of Joe Cowley

COWLEY, Joseph Charles – Joe passed away peacefully with his family at his side at Bluewater Health on Monday, June 24, 2024 at the age of 76. Beloved husband of 48 years to Vickie (Gillis). Dear father of Christopher and Kelli Houle (Brandon). Loving Papa to Rhyan, Charleigh and Andie and dear son in law of Frances Gillis. Preceded in death by parents Charles (1954) and Mary Cowley (2000). Brother of MaryAnn Boucher (late Brian). Brother-in-law of Maureen O’Hara (Kerry), David Gillis and Lisa Benton (Paul). Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.

Joe was born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University, Joe worked as an elementary teacher for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board for 30 years. Joe officiated hockey for over 25 years for the Ontario Hockey Association. In retirement, Joe enjoyed spending his free time golfing at Greystone Golf Club (longest serving member), playing baseball and officiating Oldtimers Hockey. Joe was the world’s biggest Notre Dame fan and enjoyed travelling to South Bend for football games every fall. Joe was a loving husband and father and would do anything for his family. He was a quiet man, not one to be the centre of attention. He was a man of integrity, kindness and generosity, and in his own special way left a lasting impact on everyone who knew him. Joe’s favourite role was that of Papa and treasured time with his three granddaughters more than anything. Joe enjoyed yearly trips with his family to Florida, creating memories and sharing laughs with the people he loved most.

While our hearts mourn his loss, we find comfort in knowing that Joe's legacy lives on through the lessons he taught us, the love he shared, and the memories we will cherish forever. At Joe’s request cremation has taken place and a private family service will be held at the McKenzie & Blundy Funeral Home & Cremation Centre, 431 Christina St. N. As an expression of sympathy, friends who wish may send memorial donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Messages of condolence and memories may be left at


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