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Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN) - February 20, 2005

Deceased Name: Cowle Stanley

Cowle Stanley, age 81 of Golden Valley. Preceded in death by parents, John and Mary Cohn. Survived by beloved wife of 58 years, Beatrice; daughter, Jane (Steve) Benowitz; and sons, Brad (Trish) Cowle, and Robert (Andrea) Cowle; grandchildren, Jon (Jennifer) Benowitz, David Benowitz, Shandin (Fabrice) Moyne, and Sam Cowle; great grandchild, Jordan; brother, Dale (Marion) Cowle; sister, Ann Louise Hartman. Stanley was the first County Administrator for Hennepin County. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota and Executive Vice President at Piper Jaffray. He was involved and active in many civic and charitable organizations, including former chairman of the Minneapolis Foundation, former chairman of the board of Metropolitan Medical Center, a founding force behind the building of the Minneapolis JCC, and on the board of directors of Oak Ridge Country Club. Stan was greatly loved and cherished by his family and friends. Funeral services MONDAY, 11 AM, ADATH JESHURUN CONGREGATION, 10500 W. Hillside Lane, Minnetonka. Memorials preferred to the donor's favorite charity. SHIVA 6051 Laurel Ave, Golden Valley, Monday and Tuesday at 7 PM in the community room. Arr. Hodroff-Epstein 612-871-1234

 

Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN) - February 17, 2005

Deceased Name: Stanley Cowle , pioneering county administrator, dies

Stanley Cowle, who led Hennepin County government into the modern era and got its government and medical centers built, was killed Monday in a California road accident. He was 81.

 

Cowle came to Hennepin County in the era of adding machines and bought its first computers. He was the first county administrator, serving for 10 years. In that time he collated a series of semi-independent departments, some headed by elected officials, into a more streamlined bureaucracy reporting to him.

 

He got the medical center built as the county took over the hospital from the city of Minneapolis, then embarked on a controversial push for the government center. The county had shared City Hall with the city, but the 1975 opening of the government center gave it one of the tallest buildings on the Minneapolis skyline at the time.

 

Cowle resigned to join Piper Jaffray in 1977 and was its executive vice president. He put together the underwriting syndicate that financed construction of the Metrodome.

 

He died in Palm Springs, Calif., when his car pulled out of a restaurant parking lot and was struck by a van. His wife, Beatrice, 82, was hospitalized with injuries. The couple spent considerable time in Palm Springs, but maintained a Golden Valley home.

A Duluth native, Cowle started with the county in 1950, processing applications in its veterans office, after studying political science at the University of Minnesota. He was named assistant budget director a year later and in 1959 took over the budget and purchasing office.

 

It was an era in which county government was overseen by a board that set budgets, but elected officials such as auditors and treasurers had their own power base. The Legislature approved a change eliminating several elective offices, and the board put Cowle in charge of the changes.

 

Subordinates describe him as a leader who pushed them to excel, yet engendered great loyalty. "He was an administrator's administrator," said Jack Provo, a former county commissioner and district court administrator.

 

Cowle built a juvenile jail, oversaw the county's assumption of welfare duties and built a progressive array of social services.

 

But his drive also created controversy. A state audit criticized Cowle and the board for how they built the government and medical centers. A special grand jury cleared Cowle of allegations of overpaying contractors and mismanagement. But it found that the board had improperly delegated powers to him.

 

Cowle left shortly after that for Piper, saying the separation after 27 years of county work felt like a divorce.

 

"He was the rare person who had both vision and the ability to get things done," County Board Chairman Randy Johnson said Wednesday.

 

Besides his wife, Cowle is survived by sons Bradley of Mendota Heights and Robert of Minneapolis; daughter Jane Benowitz of Golden Valley, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Funeral arrangements are pending.

 

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Steve Brandt is at sbrandt@startribune.com and 612-673-4438.

 

Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN)

Date: February 17, 2005

 

 

 

 

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