Dixie Cowen

Dixie Cowen


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Obituary of Dixie Cowen

It is with profound sadness that we share the passing of Dixie Delores Jowers Cowen, 78, a longtime resident of Kiawah Island, SC.  Dixie left this world after a prolonged battle with cancer, in the early hours of December 5th, 2018 at the Roper Hospice Cottage. 


The oldest daughter of Linnie Emmett and Verma Dixie (Boyleston) Jowers, she fell in love with the Lowcountry when her family moved from Williston, SC to Folly Beach, SC in 1943. As with her surviving sisters, Pamelia Brown, of Mt. Pleasant, Deborah Ashman Wooten (Tom Wooten), of Johns Island and Mona Stines (Chuck Stines), of Atlanta, GA, Dixie lived life by the pull of the tides. The sounds of beach music, the perfumed funk of pluff mud and the purplish haze of sweetgrass in autumn was imprinted on her heart as a child.  Though her life and travels took her far away at times, it was always to the beach that she returned to feel whole again.


Dixie, known to many as Dee, embarked on her greatest adventure when she joined United Airlines as a stewardess in those early, glamorous days of air travel.  It was there, at 35,000 feet, that she met the love of her life, Thomas Joseph Cowen, a Philadelphia native lucky enough to be her passenger on a trans-continental flight.  Their connection was perfect and instant, and after a year of courting in airport cafes across the country, they married on October 5, 1963.


The story of Tom and Dixie was as poetic as it was genuine.  Their marriage endured for 44 years until Tom’s passing and produced three children, Christopher Carl Cowen, 51, of Leighton, PA, Monica Lynn Cowen Zuckowsky, of Nashville, TN, who sadly passed away in March, 2018, and Sabrina Cowen Profitt, 48, of Washington Crossing, PA.


Dixie’s middle years were spent in Bucks County, PA with Tom and her kids, where she was for many years a successful real estate agent. She shared her innate graciousness with that community, bringing her southern hospitality, her warm, open generosity, and her love of laughter to everything she did. The gatherings at Tom and Dixie’s were legendary, as was the food she prepared.  Her family and friends will be comforted by enduring memories of hoppin’ johns, canapes, casseroles, fondues, and Polynesian feasts.  Her cooking was like her character: expansive, comforting, and imbued with love.


In 1989, the beach beckoned once more and she and Tom made Kiawah Island their permanent home. They became enthusiastic ambassadors for Kiawah and all the beauty the Lowcountry offers.  It is here they enjoyed the best fruits of their union, their eight magnificent grandchildren: Jack Zuckowsky (19), Emmet Cowen (18), Cole Zuckowsky (17), Quinn Cowen (17), Emma Profitt (16), Nuala Cowen (16), India Profitt (13) and Talitha Profitt (8). 


In addition to her immediate family, she is mourned and celebrated by an adoring circle of extended family and friends who will continue to make her recipes, tell her stories and cherish her islands, keeping her memory alive for generations to come. 


When asked to suggest a charity to benefit from gifts made in her honor after her death, she characteristically said, “I couldn’t presume to tell someone what to care about, but if they want

to honor me, maybe they can give to the place that holds space in their heart.”  May you be guided as she was, by love and light and laughter.


Dixie’s final wish was to be cremated and her ashes scattered within sight of the beaches she loved, comingling with Tom’s, that their union might become as elemental as the sea and sand that framed her life.


A memorial to honor Dixie’s generous spirit will be held in the Lowcountry in the Spring 2019.  If you wish to be informed as to time and place, please leave an email message at dixiecowenmemorial@gmail.com