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Mary Ciwser

Mary Ellen Duffley Cowser, age 83, of Martin died at her home Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, after a short illness. Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Jude Church in Martin and the funeral mass will follow at 11 a.m. The daughter of Ruth Ingersoll and Edmund Michael Duffley Jr., she was born in Lakewood, Ohio, on Dec. 7, 1935. She attended St. James Elementary School in Lakewood and later the St. Augustine Academy. At the academy for four years, she served as the pianist for the school’s chorus. Upon graduation from school, she was offered a scholarship in piano at the Cincinnati Conservatory. Instead of pursuing a career in concert performance, she enrolled in a medical technology program at Marquette University and after earning a B. S. degree, she worked at Charity Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio as a medical technologist. Mary Ellen’s teaching career began at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut as an instructor in the medical technology program. She took graduate courses in English and later earned an M.A. in English at the University of Connecticut. For four years she taught English courses at Quinnipiac. She completed all the requirements for a doctorate in English except for the dissertation. In 1967, she married Robert Cowser in Hamden, Connecticut. They both taught English courses at Quinnipiac until 1970 when he accepted a teaching position at the University of Tennessee at Martin. She began teaching English courses at UT Martin as an adjunct instructor and in 1995 she earned tenure as an instructor. Mary Ellen served as president of the We Care Ministries for two years and also served as president of the Philharmonic Music Guild. She was a member of St. Jude Catholic Church in Martin. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Robert Cowser of Martin; two daughters, Mary (William) Holtz of West Long Branch, New Jersey and Ruth (Frank) McCluskey of Ashland, Missouri; two sons, Bob Jr. of Canton, New York and James (Mandie) of Winter Springs, Florida; and 11 grandchildren. Donations in her memory may be made to We Care Ministries or to St. Jude Church.

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