David Arnold Cowdrey, 85, son of the late Chester Claire Cowdrey and Emilie Elizabeth Arnold Cowdrey, went to be with the Lord on July 25, 2020. A devoted husband, father, grandfather and Engineer, David touched and transformed countless lives. Born in Toledo, Ohio, David moved to Jacksonville, Florida with his family during infancy. Due to his father being an Intelligence officer in the United States Army during World War II, David and his family moved several times, living in California, Virginia and North Carolina. Returning to Jacksonville, David graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in 1952. He continued his education at Jacksonville Junior College, now known as Jacksonville University. After two years, David joined the United States Navy where he was awarded the honor of outstanding recruit during his Basic Naval Training at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville. Having completed training, David was stationed at the Naval Air Station Putuxent River, in Maryland. Concluding his naval service he continued his education at the University of Florida, graduating in 1959 with a Bachelor Degree in Building Construction.
David began his professional career in Jacksonville, Florida, with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. During this time, he met and married Rosalynde Vardell Gibson with whom they had two children, William Arnold Cowdrey and Claire Vardell Cowdrey. Within his career with the Corps, he worked at Cape Canaveral, assisting in the development of the NASA assembly building. David retired after a successful 30+ year career. He is remembered by his co-workers, friends and family with love and appreciation for his extraordinary skill as an engineer, counselor, mentor and friend.
Throughout life, David appreciated jazz, art and architecture. He enjoyed writing about his life adventures, and the places he had lived and travelled to. He had a passion for running, fishing, learning the French language and reading a great mystery. Throughout his life, he greatly enjoyed the sports of baseball and football. He loved watching baseball, especially the Baltimore Orioles and his childhood favorite, St. Louis Cardinals. He also watched with great enthusiasm Florida Gators and Washington Redskins football. He enjoyed many summers with family in North Carolina where he had cherished memories, great conversations and good times spent with his wife, son and daughter, grandchildren, friends, and extended family.
David and late wife Rosalynde Vardell Gibson were married for 57 years. David is survived by; his son William Arnold Cowdrey of Jacksonville, Florida; his daughter Claire Cowdrey Ojeda and husband Orlando Ojeda of Riverdale, New York; grandchildren, David Gregory Ojeda and Catherine Amelia Ojeda; Anne Bishop Cowdrey of Lake City, Florida, wife of his late, twin brother Richard Guy Cowdrey, nephew Richard Guy Cowdrey, Jr. of Jacksonville, Florida; niece, Jennifer Cowdrey King, and husband, Wesley King of Lake City, Florida.
9:00am Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Evergreen Cemetery Chapel, Jacksonville, Florida
9:30am Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Your father was a wonderful man. Oh how I enjoyed traveling with him and your mother. Memories for a lifetime. He led a remarkable and great life. I will miss them both forever. Sending our heartfelt condolences. Elaine and Keith Falt
He was a kind and gentle soul. Our neighborhood will be diminished by his loss.
I’m very saddened to hear that David has transitioned to his everlasting home. In fond reflection, I remember that David was a gentleman and a scholar. On his frequent visits to the Corps Library, he’d borrow: Moving the Earth/H.L.Nichols. He said it was the authoritative reference for engineers to use during the excavation phase of earthen dam construction. On the day he retired, David stopped by for library clearance, and as he turned away he stepped back in & lightheartedly quipped “After all, I mean just how many times can a guy move dirt around before it all looks like the same dirt.” We both laughed & laughed & laughed! The memories of David Cowdrey and his escapades in moving the earth, will forever be part of Corps Library folklore.
My prayers are with you and your family Bill. To lose a father is a difficult thing. Praying for your strength, and that of your family. May God continue to watch over you all.