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Born: September 3, 1921

Place of Birth: Ireland

Death: February 8, 2013

Place of Death: Farmington

Memorial donations may be made to:
The Irish Pallottine Fathers

This memorial provided by:
Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home
Farmington, MI

John Anthony Cowley

September 3, 1921  -  February 8, 2013
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Life Legacy

"Jack", age 91, of Farmington, founder of Farmington's John Cowley and Sons Irish Pub, died at home Friday morning, February 8th.

John was born September 3, 1921, in Ireland, the son of Patrick and Mary (Cray) Cowley. He married Mary Bridgett "Marie" (Hart) on August 13, 1951, in the Catholic church in Graiguecullen, Ireland.

John, fondly known as "Jack", was one of the greats in Gaelic football in the 1940's. Both John and Marie came from families steeped in Graiguecullen stock and both families have great football traditions. The year was 1946 and young Jack was training for a final tournament with neighboring Kildare, when he met Marie, who had been born in America and was in Ireland on holiday. Marie was due to return to the US in a short time, and for Jack, it was either spend time with her, or with football. Love won out and he followed his sweetheart across the world.

After 50 happy years together in different parts of the United States and Canada, celebrating their anniversary back in Ireland, John was quoted in an Irish newspaper saying that he was still the luckiest man in the world.

There are few that would recall the football feats of Jack Cowley, all six foot four of him, up to 70 years ago. But those who do remember, speak of his name with pride. He had followed football ever since and met many of the renowned players and officials over the years.

In 1972, John and Marie decided to open Cowley's Old Village Inn. This traditional neighborhood watering hole became a mainstay for many of the residents in Farmington. As the business became a cornerstone in the community, the family grew. Soon after the turn of the millennium, plans were underway to expand the business.

Since 1972, the Cowley family has been offering guests Irish hospitality, great food, and some of the area's best entertainment. St. Patrick's Day is something special each year with crowds of Irish, and others proclaiming to be Irish, converging on Cowleys to "drown the shamrock". Here's to you, John, may you rest in peace.

John is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Marie; three devoted sons, Gregory (Maureen), Michael and Patrick; a brother, Steven (Freida); two sisters, Elizabeth (John) O'Rourke and Claire Haughney; and 8 cherished grandchildren, Sean (Michele), Timothy (Erin), Brendan (Amy), Errin, Ryan, Shana, Chelsey, and Rory.

The Cowleys will receive guests at the funeral home on Sunday from 2-6 pm, and Monday from 2-8 pm.

The rosary will be prayed Monday evening at 7 pm.

John's funeral mass will be celebrated Tuesday, February 12th, 10:00 am (in state 9:30 am) at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 23615 Power Rd., Farmington.

Interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, will follow mass.

Memorial gifts are suggested to the Irish Pallottine Fathers.

Thank you for keeping the Cowley family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

John's funeral mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Farmington, was recorded and may be viewed here: