Cover photo for Frank Brooks Cowgill's Obituary
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1932 F. Brooks Cowgill 2023

Frank Brooks Cowgill

March 16, 1932 — December 22, 2023

Concord, Massachusetts

F. (Frank) Brooks Cowgill II passed away in his sleep on Dec 22, 2023, at his retirement home in Concord, MA. He was born in Los Angeles in 1932, the son of Frank and Henriette (Dickey) Cowgill. With a father and grandfather named Frank, he was always known by his middle name, Brooks, an old New England name that dates back before the family’s arrival in the early 17th century.  

Indeed, his family descended from Massachusetts Puritans who settled in Concord and Winchester (then part of Woburn) before 1650. The Cowgill surname belongs to Quaker ancestors who came to Philadelphia with William Penn’s fleet in the 1680s.

Brooks grew up in Los Angeles, and his fondest youthful memory was a six-month overland adventure through the highlands of Oaxaca, Mexico, with his childhood (and lifelong) friend, Dick Huberty. After graduating from Beverly Hills High School, he attended Stanford University, where he was active in student government and fraternity life. In 1953, he met a classmate, Mary Lu (Lucena) Hanna, who hails from small-town Kansas. They both graduated in 1954 and were married by the end of the year. They remained in California while Brooks completed his Stanford MBA. In 1956, Brooks and Mary Lu moved to Texas, where he served two years as an Army officer at Fort Bliss.

The Cowgill family then moved east, where he worked at the corporate headquarters for Standard Oil of NJ, now ExxonMobil, based in Manhattan. With two toddlers in tow, the family moved to the Boston area, where Brooks began a 30-year career with New England Mutual Life Insurance Company. At first, he managed their investments and , over the years, rose to serve as corporate Treasurer and Vice President. After retiring in 1993, he was recruited by Harvard University to serve as a major gift officer for the Graduate School of Education until 1998. In 2012, after 50 years in Winchester, the Cowgills moved to a senior living community, Newbury Court, in Concord, MA.

Brooks Cowgill was an engaged citizen and active civic leader throughout his life. He believed his best contributions were in the form of “sweat equity.” He was a modest man, unmoved by ostentation or honors. However, friends and colleagues recognized that he was steady, forthright, unfailingly honest, and reliable. His rectitude and skills in finance led him to be an indispensable leader in his civic contributions.

In Winchester, Brooks was a deacon of the First Congregational Church, a trustee of the Winchester Savings Bank, and president of the Mount Vernon House, a home for the elderly founded in 1894.

Professionally, Cowgill was a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and was an active member of the Boston Security Analysts Society, the Boston Economic Club, the Treasurers Club of Boston, the Harvard Club of Boston, and the Boston Committee on Foreign Relations. Leisure pursuits included fly fishing, golf, music, and theater. He remained engaged in all things Stanford, serving as president of the Stanford Club and leading many of the university’s fundraising efforts.

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Lucena (Mary Lu) Cowgill, of Concord; his son, David Brooks Cowgill, of San Antonio, Texas; and his daughter, Ann Cowgill, MD, and his son-in-law, Scott Norton, MD, of Chevy Chase, Maryland.  He is also survived by three grandsons: Benjamin Brooks Norton, MD, Daniel Norton, and Phillip Brooks Cowgill.  

Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Frank for his memorial service on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 2:00 pm in Duvall Chapel at Newbury Court, 80 Deaconess Rd., Concord, MA. Burial in Wildwood Cemetery, Winchester will be private.

Suggestions for donations in his memory include:
The First Congregational Church in Winchester
21 Church Street
Winchester, MA 01890

The Winchester Mt. Vernon House
110 Mt. Vernon Street
Winchester, MA 01890

The New England Deaconess Association
80 Deaconess Rd.
Concord, MA 01742







Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, May 4, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

DUVALL CHAPEL at Newbury Court

80 Deaconess Rd, Concord, MA 01742

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