Alta Faye Hankins Cowling, age 91, born in Robertsdale, Alabama on Nov. 10, 1928, passed away on Friday, March 6, 2020 at Mobile Infirmary. She was a lifelong resident of the Rosinton community.
Mrs. Cowling was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, William Bryant Cowling Sr.; her mother, Marie Walker Hankins; her father, Alton Bascom Hankins Sr.; and her sister, Eunice Hankins Harrison; and her brother-in-law, William D. Harrison.
She is survived by her brother, Alton B. Hankins Jr. (Melinda); her two children, Kathleen Cowling Shumate and William Bryant Cowling Jr. (Denise), Robertsdale; five grandchildren, The Rev. M.C. Mikah Hudson Jr. (Missie), Charity Shumate Jones (Jacob), Birmingham, Miranda Cowling Moore (Troy), Robertsdale, Lyndsey Cowling Brown (Jeff), Silverhill, and Brylyn Cowling Wells (Taylor), Jacksonville, Florida; and, 11 great-grandchildren, Emmalynne Cumi, Eleanora Faye, Miriam Edith, William Whitfield, and Wesley Micah Hudson, Lillian Kathleen and William Weldon Jones, Maggie Caroline and Macie-Claire Moore, Ellington Elizabeth and Everleigh Emmaline Brown; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews and her caregiver, Gracie Davis of Robertsdale.
Mrs. Cowling attended Rosinton School from first through eighth grades, graduated from Robertsdale High School and attended Judson College in Marion, Alabama. While in high school, she had many friends, enjoyed being a cheerleader and met her soulmate and the love of her life, Billy Cowling. They married in 1947.
Together, Faye and Billy owned a farm in Rosinton community where they planted and grew soybeans, potatoes, corn, peanuts, wheat and many other crops. For several years, they had a dairy, and raised chickens and beef cattle.
Mrs. Cowling was a dedicated mother and homemaker. She enjoyed planting vegetable gardens, flower gardens, and loved cooking. Her favorite and "family famous" dishes were seafood gumbo, oyster stew, barbeque, vegetable beef soup, and banana pudding. Her favorite restaurant was Wolf Bay Lodge in Foley from 1973 to the present.
Mrs. Cowling was a charter member and treasurer of the Rosinton Community Players in the 1950s. In 1954, she played the leading role in "The Night of January Sixteenth" and appeared in many other productions including "I Remember Mama" and "Angel Street."
In the 1950s, Mrs. Cowling was a substitute teacher for the Baldwin County Board of Education. She returned to college in the late 1960s to study real estate and upon receiving her broker's license became owner and broker of Cowling Realty in Robertsdale, Alabama.
In 1966 and 1967, Mrs. Cowling, her husband and children hosted the first American Field Service Exchange Student to Robertsdale High School, Barbara Chiosso, from Turin, Italy. For many years after that, Mrs. Cowling remained active in bringing exchange students to the high schools in the Baldwin County area.
Beginning in 1973, Mrs. Cowling was appointed for 24 years, by the governors of the state of Alabama and the Alabama Commissioners of Agriculture to the Baldwin County Board of Registrars. Eight of those years, she served as chairman of the board. While working at the Baldwin County Courthouse, she made many friends and loved serving the citizens of Baldwin County.
A lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, Mrs. Cowling served as a Sunday school teacher and assisted with many of the children's programs in her early years. In the 1960s and 1970s, she served as a member of the Pastor-Parrish Relations Committee at the Robertsdale United Methodist Church and was a founding member of the New Life Prayer Group. In later years, she served as a member of the administrative board of Rosinton United Methodist Church.
Mrs. Cowling's favorite pastime was spending time at the beach with her family. She and Mr. Cowling enjoyed fishing, swimming and shrimping, and cooking all the seafood they caught.
Mrs. Cowling's family will receive friends and family members at the Rosinton United Methodist Church at 10 a.m. Friday, March 13, 2020, with the funeral service to follow at 11:30 a.m. at the church.
Interment will be at the Rosinton Community Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Rosinton United Methodist Church, the Rosinton Community Cemetery, or the American Heart Association.
Arrangements are by Mack Funeral Home & Crematory, Highway 59, Robertsdale, Alabama.