DeSOTO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – DeSoto Mayor Curtistene Smith McCowan died Wednesday, Oct. 28 at the age of 72.
Mayor McCowan announced she was fighting the disease during a city council meeting earlier this month.
Mayor McCowan had served mayor since 2016 and had served on the city council since 2012.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tweeted Wednesday night, “This is unbelievably sad news. On behalf of my family and the @CityOfDallas, I offer our sincerest condolences to the family of Mayor McCowan and the entire city of @desototx. #RIP”
This is unbelievably sad news. On behalf of my family and the @CityOfDallas, I offer our sincerest condolences to the family of Mayor McCowan and the entire city of @desototx. #RIP https://t.co/ApGKcUUund
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) October 29, 2020
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted his condolences as well, saying, “Godspeed to a great person and mayor, @desototx Curtistene Smith McGowan. Personally, and on behalf of the 2.7 million residents of
@DallasCountyTx, I thank the mayor for her service and to her family for sharing a gifted leader with us.”
Godspeed to a great person and mayor, @desototx Curtistene Smith McGowan. Personally, and on behalf of the 2.7 million residents of @DallasCountyTx , I thank the mayor for her service and to her family for sharing a gifted leader with us.🙏 https://t.co/uHO3nlMxeH
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) October 29, 2020
The DeSoto High School Eagle Band paid tribute to Mayor McCowan on their Facebook page Wednesday night:
“The DeSoto Eagle Pride Band would like to send our deepest condolences to the McCowan family and to the City of DeSoto. We will forever appreciate the support and kind words from Mayor McCowan, as she truly loved the DeSoto Eagle Band. She was one of the first individuals to sing our praises when we achieved national recognition and she has always encouraged us to strive for greater and higher heights. It is in that spirit that we will press on fervently towards the mark of excellence, as we honor the memory our very own Mayor Curtistene McCowan.”
Mayor McCowan has spent much of her life dedicated to serving the DeSoto community, the city said in a news release late Thursday night.
Prior to her time on the DeSoto City Council, she served for five years on the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors and held several positions with that Board. She was a founder and president of Concerned DeSoto Citizens and she and husband Leon R. McCowan had been active with that organization for 31 years.
She was also actively involved in education at a local, state, and national level throughout her career.
McCowan was the first African-American elected to public office in DeSoto when she won a seat on the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees in 1990 where she served for six years, two of those years as President.
She was appointed by the Texas Association of School Boards and served with them from 1990-1997. McCowan served on the Statewide Panel on Student Skills and Knowledge for the Texas Education Agency from 1993-1994. And in 2000, she was elected as the Charter President of the DeSoto ISD Education Foundation Board of Directors and has served on their Executive Committee since that time.
McCowan was the senior investigator for the Federal Trade Commission’s Southwest Regional Office for over 18 years. After more than 32 years of meritorious service, she retired from the federal government in 2005.
McCowan noted recently that she was active in education locally before she served on the ISD Board. By January 2007, she had spent more than 30 years in education when the DeSoto ISD’s Board of Trustees voted to name a middle school after her. Mayor McCowan considered that to be the greatest honor in her life.
Curtistene S McCowan is survived by her husband of 54 years Leon R. McCowan and their two sons Danny Sebastian (Angie) and Leon Curtis (Stephanie) McCowan.
She was also the proud grandmother of Tiana, Kirsten, and Taylor McCowan. Funeral arrangements are being made by the McCowan family, which will be announced at a later date.
The services will be held at the Kirkwood Temple CME Episcopal Church, 1440 Sunny Glen Drive in Dallas.
“Mayor McCowan will be deeply missed by the DeSoto City Council and City staff who have worked closely with her during her years of service,” the city said.
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