John Hurlburt Cowles

July 6, 1934 ~ April 30, 2021 (age 86)


Sumter, SC …. John Hurlburt Cowles, 86, passed away Friday, April 30, 2021.

John was born July 6, 1934, in Stamford, Connecticut, son of the late William and Katharine Cowles. John grew up in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He attended Allegheny College and graduated with a degree in Geology in 1956. During college he married Margery Nuhn, with whom he raised a family while serving for more than 20 years as an Air Force officer, first as a pilot, and later at postings at various bases throughout the US and in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.

He later married Sharyl Simpson Rackley, and they retired together here in Sumter. He maintained lifelong enthusiasms for trains, airplanes, firearms, woodworking, and knowing how things work.

 John is survived by his children, Nancy Cowles (Joe Costigan), of Illinois, and Michael Cowles (Katie), of Minnesota; his stepson, William Rackley (Pam) of South Carolina, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as well as his brother William Cowles of Georgia. The family is especially appreciative of the care by Carolina Caregivers and Covenant Place in Sumter.

 John will be laid to rest privately at the Florence National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be designated to the charity of your choice or the Sumter S.P.C.A. at 1140 S. Guignard Drive, Sumter, SC 29150.

You may go to and sign the family’s guest book.

The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home for the arrangements.

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