The University of Texas at Tyler Advancement
Frances Brown Cowan Gibson, age 89, a lifelong Tyler resident and dear UT Tyler friend, died Friday, April 20, 2012 at her home in Tyler after a short illness.
Frances was born on Nov. 18, 1922, in Tyler. She attended Tyler schools and graduated from the Texas State College for Women in Denton (now TWU) with a degree in piano. Frances married R. Don Cowan in 1944 at the Little Chapel in the Woods on the TWU campus in Denton. Mr. Cowan, a founder of Tyler-based TCA cable, died in 1992. During the early years of their marriage, Frances taught piano lessons. After her kids were grown, she returned to the University of Texas at Tyler to study art and received a Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Art in May of 1985. Frances was an accomplished artist and enjoyed drawing, painting and printmaking. She also loved music and participated for years in the opera class at UT-Tyler. Frances married Bill Gibson in 1998 and he preceded her in death in 2010.
Frances is survived by three children, Camilla Cowan, R. Don Cowan Jr., and wife Teri and Susan Kaiser and husband Steve, all of Dallas; stepdaughter, Lisa Gibson and husband Larry Barnes, of Santa Rosa, Calif.; by six grandchildren, Laura Cowan, of Dallas, Thomas Cowan, of Brooklyn, N.Y., Vince Gutierrez, of Laramie, Wyo., Alex Gutierrez, of Fayetteville, Ark., Sarah Emrick, of Dallas, and Krispin Kaiser, of Denver, Colo.; by brother-in-law, Bob Cowan and wife Peggy, of Midland; four nieces and one nephew, including Betty Blanchard, husband Marty and daughter Christian, all of Tyler; and by two great-grandchildren.
Frances was a UT Tyler alumna and a devoted supporter of The University of Texas at Tyler. In honor of her late husband, Richard Donald, "Don" Cowan, she contributed to the construction of the UT Tyler Cowan Center. Francis was a longtime patron of the arts at UT Tyler and was a Friends of the Arts Founder and Executive Board Member, Art Building Project Donor and created a Performance Excellence Endowment at UT Tyler.
Frances supported and served UT Tyler in many ways including being a Lifetime UT Tyler Board member, former UT Tyler Foundation Board member, Alumni Lifetime member, President's Associates member, a Heritage Society member as well as supporting the Distinguised Lecture Series.
In 1994 Francis was honored as the University of Texas at Tyler Patriot of the Year.
Francis exemplified the tradition of community support which distinguishes The University of Texas at Tyler among institutions of higher education in Texas and the United States.
The University of Texas at Tyler is indebted to Francis' giving heart and her combined loves of music and education, which blossomed throughout the UT Tyler campus as well as the city of Tyler and will benefit the east texas area for years and years to come.
The University of Texas at Tyler
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