Robert Walter Cowell
August 27,1963 - March16, 2022

On August 27, 1963 a long-awaited son was born to Ray “Peanuts” and Ann Cowell at Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna. He was welcomed by his four older sisters who immediately vied for the role as to who would take care of and protect him.

To his dismay, we never stopped. Robbie passed over peacefully in his sleep on March 16, 2022 at the age of 58.

Rob was named after his father’s brother who died in a logging accident in his senior year of high school. He was taught early the legacy of his family who were all hardworking men and women who loved and supported their families. He lived by this code his entire life, always there to lend a hand when needed.

He shared our father’s love and respect for guns and looked forward to hunting with his dad, but never got the chance as our father died before they could when Rob was only 12. He continued to care for Dad and Grandpa’s guns although he was never a hunter.

Rob contracted spinal meningitis as a toddler and if not for a penicillin shot given in the doctor’s office and being rushed to the hospital we would have lost him then. As a result he had to learn to walk again and suffered hearing problems his entire life. He hated the hearing aids and rarely wore them except when necessary, learning to read lips so not to be so noticeable. He would say, “I hear what I need to”…

After graduating from Fortuna High he went to drafting school in Arizona at Phoenix Institute of Technology. After graduating there were few jobs available so he joined the Corps of Engineers and worked installing swamp coolers for housing developments. When his corps service ended he returned to Humboldt County and began his career in security, first at PL before joining the Bear River security team. Rob loved his job and rarely took time off. When he got sick in 2019 and was off for two months he worried often that he was leaving them short-handed, and when the doctors finally released him he came home, packed and was ready then next morning to get back to Fortuna and his job.

He loved all the people he met and loved to hear their stories and adventures. He regaled his sister Edie with many during his convalescence. He grew wise by quietly listening and knew something about almost everything and could build or fix almost everything. He was a quiet, gentle man; a loving forgiving man; a strong and helpful man; a wise and patient man.

Our brother was a special gift we did not deserve but through God’s grace and mercy he quietly loved and shared his life with us.

Rob is survived by his sisters Debbie Hudson, Cindy (Victor} Grass, Edie Cowell (Toy Pryor) and Kris Murray. He is also survived by five nieces and nephews and 13 great-nieces and -nephews. Preceding him were his mother and father and brothers-in-law Bill Hudson and Frank Murray Jr.

Please join us for a celebration of life on Saturday, August 20 at 2 p.m. It will be at Bear River Casino in the Ballroom, courtesy of Bear River Casino. We would love for you to join us and share your favorite stories and memories of Rob.

Memorial donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the American Diabetes Association.


The obituary above was submitted by Rob Cowell’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email