Martha A. Cowley, a retired administrative assistant and former longtime Whiteford resident, died Friday of cancer at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. She was 86.
The daughter of farmers, Martha Ann Strickhouser was born and raised in York, Pa., where she graduated from York High School.
After earning a bachelor's degree in 1948 from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., Mrs. Cowley worked in the trust department of the York Bank and Trust Co. until her marriage in 1950 to William J. Cowley Jr., a businessman.
Since the early 1800s, her husband's family had owned farms in Harford County as well as the Whiteford Packing Co.. She worked at the packing company's office as an administrative assistant from 1951 to the mid-1980s.
From 1950 to 1988, the couple lived in Whiteford, where they enjoyed entertaining family and friends. They moved to Bel Air in 1988. Mr. Cowley died in 2007.
They had been active members of the Maryland Golf and Country Club. Mrs. Cowley enjoyed playing bridge and dining at fine restaurants on special occasions. She also liked to read, travel and complete New York Times crossword puzzles.
She was an ardent Orioles and Ravens fan.
Mrs. Cowley had been a member for 50 years of Slateville Presbyterian Church, and after moving to Bel Air joined the First Presbyterian Church.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at her church, 224 N. Main St., Bel Air.
Mrs. Cowley is survived by a niece, Julie E. Noble of Jarrettsville; and her companion, John Murphy of Bel Air.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun