Monday, July 25, 2016


Last month I lost another dear friend who inspired me in my Bing Crosby collection. Bob Cowley made a tribute tape for Bing Crosby in 1974 that he sent to the crooner, and he got a personalized letter back from him. Bob Cowley was a genius with anything dealing with radio, and in the days before the computer and CDs, he made this tape for Bing sound better than anything I have ever heard. I corresponded with Bob from the late 1990s until 2010 when ill health ended our communication.

Robert C. “Bob” Cowley, age 96, of Toledo, passed away on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, at Vibrant Life Senior Living-Jackman Lodge, Temperance, MI. He was born on May 11, 1920, in Lincoln, Nebraska to the late Charles Harold and Gladys (Nelson) Cowley. He began an interest in radio and electronics in his early teens, experimenting with old radios and amplifiers. The Cowley family moved to Toledo in 1941 where Bob worked at Strong Electric for 2 years before his career at WSPD began as an engineer in 1943. During those early years he worked in radio, traveled around northwest Ohio, with Art Barrie of WSPD radio doing remote live radio broadcasts. In the 50's at the inception of TV Broadcasting, he switched to WSPD Television studios.

He married Ruth L. Wollenweber on April 14, 1948, and in their early years of marriage he repaired radios and televisions for friends and neighbors for a little extra cash. While the children were growing up, he took a lot of home movies which he later transferred to video tapes. He built a Schober Electronic Organ with a full 32 range of pedals from a mail order kit. It was used in their home until donated to Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cincinnati. When their house was built in 1956, Bob did all the wiring and majority of the woodwork.

On Sunday mornings he taped the church services which were taken to “shut-ins”. He also did recordings at home of sermons by area pastors for a Sunday morning radio broadcast called “Lutheran Chapel of the Air” on WCWA for 25 years. He was a member of Hosanna Evangelical Lutheran Church in Monclova.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Ruth; their children, Susan Sturtz, Judy (Ralph) Fuehr, Linda (Mike) Maas, and David (Jennifer) Cowley; 9 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Betty Cowley. He was also preceded in death by sisters, Margaret Putnam, Mildred Hites, and Marie Eighmey, and a brother, Paul Cowley.

Funeral services will begin at 12 Noon on Monday, June 20, 2016, at David R. Jasin-Hoening Funeral Home, 5300 N. Summit St., Toledo, OH 43611, with Pastor Scott Mosher, officiating. Visitation will begin in the funeral home at 10 a.m. and continue until the time of the service. Burial will follow in Ottawa Hills Memorial Park, Toledo.

Those wishing to make a contribution in Bob's memory are asked to consider Hosanna Evangelical Lutheran Church, Monclova, or Hospice of Northwest Ohio. Many thanks to Foundation Park, Hospice of Northwest Ohio and Vibrant Life of Temperance for the special care given to Bob.

I will never forget the videos and audio tapes that Bob sent me, and if anyone wants a copy of Bob's excellent tribute to Bing, please contact me. Rest in peace dear friend...

1 comment: