KOWBEL, Alex N, Maj (Ret’d), CD, Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, RCASC

KowbelAlex passed away peacefully on Jan 20, 2024 at the age of 101 at the Perley Health Centre, Ottawa, Ontario. Alex grew up in Melville, Saskatchewan.  In 1948, he married Frances (Fran) Emily Matthews of Barrie, Ontario. Fran passed away in 1960 but remained in his heart and thoughts for the rest of his life. Alex is survived by his four children, James (Wendy), Thomas (Rosemary), David (Nelline) and Susan Andrew (Geoffrey), 4 grandchildren, Nicholas Kowbel (Celine), Kevin Kowbel, Alexandra McAlister (Kevin) and Krystin Vienneau (Joe), and 3 great grandchildren, Kaylee Kowbel, Corey Kowbel and Corbyn McAlister.

Alex enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1939 at age 17. He served in England and Europe primarily with the 2nd Canadian Army Group Royal Artillery (2AGRA). He landed in Normandy a few weeks after D Day in June 1944, and participated in the liberation of Holland in 1945. After the war, Alex attended the University of Saskatchewan. He continued his military career primarily in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corp. (RCASC), serving in Korea and Japan and at various Canadian Forces bases and Headquarters in Ottawa. 


Alex retired from the military in 1971 and joined the Environmental Protection Service. He retired again in 1978 and moved to Foymount Ontario where he enjoyed country living and was an active member of the Eganville branch of The Royal Canadian Legion. He spent his winters in Hawaii, where he played golf and bridge well into his 90’s. At the age of 96, Alex moved to the Perley Rideau Veterans Centre (Perley Health) in Ottawa. He considered it his home, with the benefit of a pub right down the hall. His family is very appreciative of the care he received from the wonderful staff.

Alex will be remembered by his friends and family for his quick wit, his warm smile, his stories, and his love of a good party. Visitation will be held at the Beechwood National Memorial Centre, 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa, on Friday, February 16th, 2024 at 12 noon. A Funeral Service will be held in the Sacred Space at 1:00PM followed by interment in the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood Cemetery. Donations to the Perley Health Foundation (perleyhealthfoundation.ca) would be appreciated in lieu of flowers. Condolences may be shared at www.beechwoodottawa.ca.

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