Jack Parker Cowlishaw Jr., 68, of Bozeman, MT, passed away on Friday, October 30th. After battling an illness for many years, his Heavenly Father called him home, and he went peacefully with his family by his side.
Jack was born in Billings, MT on December 7, 1951, to Jack Parker Cowlishaw and Caroline Zent Cowlishaw. He grew up in Bozeman from the age of 6 and loved his childhood on S. Third. Jack was accomplished and driven from a young age, joining the boy scouts, and reaching Eagle Scout status. He was student body President at Bozeman High School, captain of the basketball, football and track teams, and a member of the National Honors Society. Jack’s star only grew brighter as he was accepted to Dartmouth College on two athletic scholarships, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. Jack was drawn back to Bozeman after college, not only because he longed to return to the West, but also to be reunited with his new love, Deborah Vincent. They married in 1979 and had Vincent Parker a year later. Leigh Katherine followed next, while the young family was still in Billings. During a short stint in Denver, sister Megan Marie came along, and then the family moved to the most unlikely place of all: New Jersey. Jessica Caroline arrived a few years later, completing their family of six. Shocking all of their Western friends and family, the Cowlishaws lived very happily in Chatham, New Jersey for almost 30 years.
Professionally, Jack was an entrepreneur through and through. With charm, confidence and intelligence bursting from every seam, Jack shot up through the ranks at AT&T, while moving from Montana to Colorado. When he arrived in New Jersey, Jack left AT&T and accomplished his lifelong dream of starting his own telecommunications firm. From its humble roots in his daughter’s bedroom, with only a phone and a fax machine, Jack eventually grew Atlantic Telecom into one of the largest independent telecom equipment companies nationwide.
Running a successful business and raising four children left little spare time, but Jack was a devoted family man who cherished his family dinners, his commitment to his church, his family vacations in Montana to visit his beloved hometown and favorite place on Earth. He loved fishing and the great outdoors, spending time on the lake in Whitefish and the Gallatin River at Big Sky, staying in the family cabin at Swan Creek, and watching the sunset on the ranch. Friends and family will remember his humor, charisma, intelligence, strength, and pride. He was the central figure in every room he entered.
Jack is survived by his wife Deborah Cowlishaw, son Vince Cowlishaw (Alison Cowlishaw), daughter Leigh Russo (Nick Russo), daughter Megan Cowlishaw (Nick Babineu), daughter Jessica McConchie (Joshua McConchie), grandchildren Ellie, Jake, Taylor and Chase Russo, Avery and Jack Cowlishaw, and Lillian McConchie, sister Sharon McKay (Bob), sister Judy Olsen (Gary), and sister Tina Hansen (Jim). Jack is predeceased by his father Jack Cowlishaw and mother Carol Cowlishaw.
A service in his honor will be held at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service Tribute Center on Friday, November 6th. Viewing starts at 12:00pm, followed by a service at 1:00pm. Interment will be at Sunset Hills Cemetery, with a reception immediately following at the Cowlishaw Ranch.