top banner

Obituary Listings

William P. Cowhey

April 1, 1926 November 10, 2018
William P. Cowhey
There are condolences waiting approval on William's Tribute wall

Plant a tree in memory of William

An environmentally friendly option
Obituary for William P. Cowhey

Bill Cowhey made the first of what was to become his usual impressive entrances when he was born on April 1, 1926. Not only was it April Fools’ Day, but also it was the day of a driving snowstorm, forcing the doctor to come to him—and his mother—to welcome him into the world.
A west-sider by geography for many years and by nature forever, Bill attended St. Catherine’s Church and Grammar School, creating life-long friendships. After graduation from St. Catherine’s, it was on to Quigley Preparatory Seminary to sample the religious life, and then to Fenwick High School to finish his high-school years. In the meantime, World War II had begun and the man who had never avoided a fight for principles joined the U.S. Navy, becoming a radio man aboard the carrier USS Belleau Wood in the Pacific. He served honorably from 1944 through 1946 as part of a unit that was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.
Bill headed for Loyola University to begin his war-deferred college education, graduating in 1950 with a B.S.C. degree. A born salesman, he tried his hand at real estate after graduation, forming a small but energetic company with a friend. He liked the real estate and selling parts, but decided he’d rather be part of a large company, which he did in 1952 when he joined Arthur Rubloff & Co. He rose through the ranks, becoming Senior Vice President and General Manager of the company’s Industrial Division. In that capacity, he represented buyers and sellers in the sale and lease of business, office, and industrial real estate. He represented major national corporations, such as Honeywell, 3M, Purex, TransUnion, and Brunswick Corporation, as well as local companies, in the acquisition and disposition of real estate. He was involved in locating and acquiring Time, Inc.’s Chicago office building site and represented Time in the disposition of major properties. He evaluated and disposed of several million dollars of real estate for General Outdoor Advertising Company. He also trained and supervised salespeople and worked with government agencies on legislation affecting real estate.
He remained with Rubloff until 1977, when he saw the opportunity to blend his real estate background with his interest in government. He joined the newly created Economic Development Commission of the City of Chicago as the Assistant Executive Director, helping to formulate policies for the Commission that encouraged business and industry to locate or expand within the City. He consulted with Chicago City Council members and with City staff in Springfield regarding state legislation.
In 1979, Bill returned to work for Arthur Rubloff, who had formed a new company, the Rubloff Development Corporation. As Vice President, Bill sought out investment opportunities for Mr. Rubloff’s personal portfolio.
Government beckoned again, and Bill joined the Cook County Assessor’s Office in 1981 as a special consultant to the Legal Department, where he administered property incentive programs.
In 1981, Bill purchased a membership interest on the Chicago Board of Trade, now the CME. He invested and traded from 1981 to 1987 for his own account in the financial futures market and retained a membership interest.
In 1987 Bill blended his interests and experience in government and business by joining the Civic Federation as President. In that capacity, he contributed to lowering taxes for city and suburban residents by suggesting ways to improve the fiscal condition of local taxing entities such as the City of Chicago, Cook County, Chicago School Board, Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Park District, RTA, Metra, and CTA. He also worked to improve the quality of health care for Chicago’s citizens by his active leadership on the Health and Medicine Policy Group, Illinois Primary Health Care Association Committee on Ambulatory Care Linkage Project, and the Metropolitan Chicago Health Care Council. He retired from the Civic Federation in 1995.
Bill pursued his long-time interest in the recovering community by joining The Retreat in Wayzata, Minnesota, in 2014 as the Regional Outreach Director. In this capacity, he raised the level of awareness of this organization in the metropolitan Chicago area with people who refer individuals to residential programs for recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
His professional accomplishments were many, including: president, and member of the Arbitration Committee, National Board of Directors, and the National Executive Committee of the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Industrial Realtors. He also was a member of the Special Energy Committee of the National Association of Realtors, Legislative Committee of the Illinois State Association of Realtors, Industrial Development Committee of the Mayor’s Council of Manpower and Economic Advisors, Economic Development Committee of the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry, State of Illinois House Speakers Panel on Casino Gambling, and the Illinois State Bar Executive Committee on State and Local Taxation.
Because of these and many other accomplishments, April 1, 2016, the day of Bill’s 90th birthday, was declared “William Cowhey Day” in Cook County, Illinois, by the Board of Commissioners of Cook County.
Bill’s work history tells a lot about what he did, but not necessarily about what he is. In January 1970, he entered Lutheran General and began a rich and full life of continuous sobriety. He sponsored newcomers and some not so new. His service work has encompassed an affiliation with a bridge group team at Rush Behavioral and volunteering at Northwestern Hospital and the Lakeside Veterans Hospital. He also recruited and coordinated the volunteers for a substance abuse outpatient program at the University Of Illinois Department Of Psychiatry. He became a member of the Chicago Board of Hazelden Betty Ford in 2003. Although he left the board in 2014, he continued to be an active volunteer.
His community involvement didn’t stop with his work with the recovering community. An active member of Old St. Pat’s Church, he was deeply involved with the Kinship Group, an outreach effort by the Church to the North Lawndale community. He also was an involved member of the Chicago-Galway Sister Cities Committee, the Realty Club of Chicago, the National Association of Realtors, the Society of Industrial Realtors, and Lambda Alpha Land Economics Fraternity.
And last, but never least, his family was a significant and delightful part of his life. Bill was the beloved husband of Dorothy Nelson; loving father of William P. Jr. (Denise), Marianne (John) McGauley, Kathleen (Tom) Strombeck and the late Susan M. Powers; cherished grandpa of Keith (Brittan) and Katie (Luis Garcia) Cowhey, Joe and Maggie McGauley, Hap and Lizzie Strombeck; great-grandfather of Collins and Maren Cowhey; fond father-in-law of Mark Powers; dear brother of the late Catherine (the late Robert) Appenzeller; caring uncle, cousin, and friend of many.
Visitation will be Friday November 16 from 1:30 p.m. until the time of Mass at 3:30 p.m. at Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W. Adams Street, Chicago. There will be a private interment at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood, IL. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Retreat (theretreat.org) or the Old St. Pat’s North Lawndale Kinship Initiative (oldstpats.org/kinship/) are appreciated.

To plant a tree in memory of William P. Cowhey, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

16

Nov

1:30 PM 11/16/2018 1:30:00 PM - 3:30 PM 11/16/2018 3:30:00 PM
Old St. Patrick's Church

700 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60661

Old St. Patrick's Church
700 W Adams St Chicago 60661 IL
United States

Funeral Mass

Friday

16

Nov

3:30 PM 11/16/2018 3:30:00 PM - 4:30 PM 11/16/2018 4:30:00 PM
Old St. Patrick's Church

700 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60661

Old St. Patrick's Church
700 W Adams St Chicago 60661 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Old St. Pat’s North Lawndale Kinship Initiative

711 W. Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60661

The Retreat

1221 Wayzata Blvd. E
Wayzata, MN 55391
Albums

Create new album
 
Subscribe To Obituaries


alt

We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.
Loading...