The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022

Esther L. Cowan

Esther L. Cowan, Hearth & Home’s oldest living resident at 105, passed away Friday, December 4, 2020.

Esther L. Cowan

Esther Cowan was born August 25, 1915, in Liberty Township, Van Wert County. Her parents were Anna B. (Sutton) and Stanley C. Stemen, who both preceded her in death.

She grew up on a farm during The Depression and soon learned hard work, being the oldest daughter of eight children. Esther first attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse; after that she attended the “old” Ohio City-Liberty High School, and then graduated from the “new” Ohio City-Liberty High School on State Route 118. 

After graduation, she worked as what is known now as a “nanny” for Dean and Alice Rice of Ohio City; then Esther began her over 40-year career as a waitress in several restaurants in the area, including Yours & Mine, Gardner’s Country Kitchen, and the Mid-Way Truck Stop in Mercer.

On August 25, 1938, Esther married Eugene Guy “Gene” Moore, who died July 13, 1971. On May 5, 1991, she and Marvin R. Cowan were united in marriage, and he died June 13, 2004.

Survivors include a daughter, Rebecca “Beckie” (Bernard) Motycka; two granddaughters, Chantal Spoor and Kendra Gene Motycka; three great-granddaughters, Laine, Grace, and Emma Spoor; two sisters, Flora Linton of Ohio City and Jane (Robert) Stemen of Van Wert; a brother, Raymond (Mary Louise) Stemen of Delphos; a stepson, Philip Cowan; two stepdaughters, Linda Matthew and Vickie (Chuck) Ingman; 10 stepgrandchildren, Laura (Chris) Henkaline, Nicole (Dave) Webb, Ben (Amber) Cowan, Marie (Ken) Markward, Carey (Marsha) Matthew, Craig (Chris) Ingman, Ryan Ingman, Brian Ingman, Edmund (Lindsey) Ingman, and Christa (Mark) Ganger; and 29 stepgreat-grandchildren; and four stepgreat-great-grandchildren.

Deceased family members include two brothers, Doyle and Lowell Stemen; two sisters, Mary King and Clara Cain; three brothers-in-law, Robert King, John Cain, and Russell Linton Jr.; a stepdaughter, Phyllis Ingman; one stepdaughter-in-law, Beverley Cowan; a stepson-in-law, Charles Matthew; and a stepgrandson, John Cowan.

Esther did much traveling, including trips to Hawaii and Alaska and several YWCA trips. She also liked her water exercise classes, where she met many new friends. She enjoyed making quilts, hundreds of doilies, and cross-stitch projects; she also enjoyed crossword, jigsaw, and word-find puzzles. This lady “served” others in her family, career, church, and hospital through the former Lady Board of Managers. Esther lived a long and happy life, enjoying family most of all!

Private services will be held at a later date. 

Preferred memorials: Ohio City Fire and EMS Department.

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 12/08/20 at 11:07 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries