Christopher Phillip Kowzan

March 23, 1960 ~ February 7, 2021 (age 60)




Christopher Philip Kowzan passed away quietly in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday, February 7, 2021 after a short, bitter battle with cancer. Not long before his passing, Chris confided to his middle child that he was starting to get the sense that knowing him meant something to a lot of people. Those who did have the pleasure of knowing him will understand this to be a colossal understatement


Born March 23, 1960 in Moscow, ID to Barbara Joyce Kowzan, Chris graduated from Riverside High School and enlisted in the Army at age 17. He spent 3 years in active service as a Supply Sergeant and remained in the reserves until 1989, 12 years in total. His later career included a range of pursuits, including time as a welder, truck driver, bartender, and business owner, as well as often helping friends and relatives as an auctioneer and with various construction projects.


Chris aspired to be an expert at all of his many hobbies, including playing the bass guitar, golf, pool, poker, video games, and was an experienced horticulturist — of a type. He spent much of his spare time reading, studying history, and enjoying time with his friends, family, and beloved pets.


Chris had a low, warm voice that carried across a room, filling it easily with laughter and welcome. He was also known to deliver a good-hearted teasing remark accompanied by a sideways smirk. He strived always to be fearless but not reckless, generous but firm, approachable, and non-judgemental. He had a rye sense of humor, a radiant smile, and gave the best hugs. He was also entirely incapable of taking a bite of food without raising his left eyebrow, for which he was lovingly teased by his children.


Chris was (finally) married to Laura Jean Kowzan on December 26, 2020 in a small ceremony at their home in Elk. Between them, they raised 5 children and enjoyed 25 years of loyal friendship and 1 month of wedded bliss.


Chris is survived by his loving wife Laura, his children, Daniel Robert Lee Nelson and wife Jessica; Christal Rose Kowzan Seitz and husband John; Jessica Lynn Bonita Kowzan, Zackery Cross Kowzan, and Samantha Joy Kowzan; and two grandchildren, Isaac Daniel Nelson and Aaliyah Rose Nelson.


He is also remembered dearly by his siblings, Julie Kay Wheeler and husband Tom, Daniel Andrew Kowzan, John Joseph Kowzan, Michael William Kowzan and wife Kat, Kristie Joy Kowzan, Tena Marie Owens and husband Sean, Kimberly Thompson, and numerous niblings, cousins, and other friends and family near and far.


He was predeceased by his beloved mother, Barbara, and the pair are surely together again.


Chris was a man who made friends with everyone he met and made family of those he loved. He brought people together so effortlessly that he was often unaware he was doing it at all. This talent eventually led him to become ordained to perform marriage ceremonies, and numerous couples were joined by his hand. As a local leader in the Elk community, Chris had many ‘children’ who are saddened by his loss but are left with all he taught them.


A celebration of his life will take place this summer.


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