James Lynn Cowles, age 79, of Yankton passed peacefully on Saturday, October 10th 2020, surrounded by his family.
His funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 13th at the Sacred Heart Church. His son Rev. Kristopher Cowles will celebrate the mass.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. followed by a wake service at the Goglin Funeral Home on Monday, October 12. Burial will be at a later date. Facial coverings will be required and social distancing practices will be maintained. Virtual viewing will be provided through the Goglin Funeral Home website.
James was born on June 3, 1941 in Vermillion, SD to David and Helen (Jones) Cowles. He graduated from Vermillion High School and attended the University of South Dakota briefly before enlisting in the United States Army in 1960, completing basic training at Ft. Sill. He served as a member of the Army Intelligence until 1962, being stationed in Germany and Turkey.
He married Leona Mary Dunn on May 3, 1969 at Sacred Heart Church in Yankton. They celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary this past spring. Following their wedding, they built a home together in Vermillion.
He began working for the US Postal Service in 1968 as a letter carrier in Vermillion. He rose up through the ranks, becoming Assistant Postmaster. In 1977, he became Postmaster in Miller. In 1981, he became Postmaster in Yankton. He remained there until 1998 when he was given the Postmaster position in Minot, ND. He retired with 33 years of service in 2000.
He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He served as Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 133 and participated on many scout trips with his sons, including Philmont Scout Ranch, Bighorn Mountains, and Canadian Boundary Waters. He was a former member of the Knights of Columbus and Kiwanis. Up until his death, he remained an avid member of the Yankton Sharpshooters, enjoyed fishing on the river in his boat, and was a lifelong carpenter.
He is survived by his beloved wife Leona of Yankton; daughter Kelly and her husband Steve and daughter Elizabeth of Aberdeen, Scotland; son Kirby and his wife Angie and children Creighton and Burkelyn of Sioux Falls, son Michael and his wife Kelley and sons Riley, Nolan and Eli of Sioux Falls, son Owen and his wife Wendy and children Logan (with fiance Riley of Newport Beach, CA), Savannah (with husband Dustin and great grandson Dustin Joseph Jr.), Makenah and Mykah of Gayville, and son Kristopher of Sioux Falls; sister Joyce Jaeger (Carson City, NV).
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Janet Dutra, and his brother David Cowles.
Pallbearers are his grandsons and great-grandson. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to Sacred Heart School in Yankton, SD, where all five of his children attended school.