Mountains

Dorothy Lilla Cowden

March 29, 1926 ~ April 11, 2020 (age 94)

Obituary

Westlake Village, CA

Dorothy Lilla Cowden, 94, passed away peacefully on April 11, 2020, under the care of hospice in Westlake Village, California.

"Dot" was born March 19, 1926 in Yakima, Washington to Harold and Lillian Smith. She was a creative and fearless adventurer who spent many hours exploring the mountains in Washington with her brother William Smith. It was there where she developed a deep love for nature and plants.

Dorothy graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in botany. She moved to Los Angeles and became a seed analyst for a private company.

She was happily married to Earl Roland Cowden for more than 63 years. They went on to have two beautiful children Rosalind and Matthew. They raised their family in the San Fernando Valley, later moving to their beloved mountain home in Paradise, California. Dorothy loved its natural beauty and closeness to all the mountain activities she enjoyed.

Dorothy was a nature loving adventurer and set a goal to backpack the entire Pacific Coast Trail. She accomplished much of this feat along with backpacking to the highest peak in California, Mount Whitney, when she was 65 years old. She also was a downhill and cross-country skier, plant identifier, and "birder." Her family and friends would often joke that when they took a nature walk with her they wouldn't get very far because she would stop every few feet to identify a plant or bird. She loved camping, sailing, and hiking with her family, many times at her favorite location of Huntington Lake, California . She was also a very creative and talented ceramicist, making pots with animal and plant carvings and animal whistles. In addition, she was an accomplished watercolorist and avid reader.

Dorothy was a wonderful listener and teacher. Given the opportunity, or eager request, she was quick to share her knowledge and experiences. From being a docent at Vina Plains vernal pools to sharing her experience and expertise to the art community.

She is survived by her  brother William Smith; her devoted daughter Rosalind Cowden (John Freeman); loving son Matthew (Sandra); granddaughter Amanda Cowden; extended family; and many friends. She is preceded in death by her husband Earl Cowden.

Memorial donations may be made to a charity that supports nature.

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