Cowley, Helen Thornton (1909 - 16 August 2002)
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Cowley received her B.A. with honors from Wichita State University in 1931. The following year she married John Paul Cowley, a professor of English literature. Later, they lived in Fort Collins, Colorado, New Haven, Connecticut, and Bloomington, Indiana, before moving to Cedar Falls, Iowa, where he was on the faculty at Iowa State Teachers (today, the University of Northern Iowa).
In the early 1960s, Cowley obtained credentialing in library science and was employed for a time at the college's Price Laboratory School.
The Cowleys had two children, John (who with wife Judy lives in Sioux City, Iowa), and Jo (who with husband Nelson Evans lives in Blacksburg, Virginia).
Cowley, sensing the need, wrote to Unitarians in Boston about forming a fellowship where freethinking families could meet, one that later became the Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County. Her husband served as its lay minister for a short time before his death in 1985. She died in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her memorial celebration in 2002 was held at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County in Cedar Falls at 3912 Cedar Heights Drive.