Gloria Marlene Cowell, 84, of Arbela died Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Scotland County Hospital.

She was born the daughter of George Alexander and Ruth Lenora (Dieterich) Riebel on January 24, 1934 in Arbela.

Marlene was married to Andrew Martin Cowell on November 25, 1951 at the Methodist Parsonage by the Rev. Wilbur Longstreth.   Martin preceded her in death on May 22, 1987.

To this union two sons, Glen Andrew and Gregory Alan Cowell, were born.

Marlene was a lifetime member of the Scotland County Genealogical Society, where she served as the President for four years and was for many years the editor of the Scotland County Genealogical Society newsletter.   She was a member for years of the Plum College Extension Club until it disbanded, holding many offices in that organization, but mostly as secretary.    Marlene also was the 4-H Leader of the Azen Jolly Timers and then the Arbela Arrows 4-H Club for several years as a project leader while her sons were members.   Marlene was a member of the Jauflione chapter of the D.A.R. in Memphis.

The Cowells always liked the Scotland County Fair, attending every fair from the beginning at this present fair grounds site.  Martin showed cattle and swine, she showed her horses for a number of years.   They continued attending, helping their boys show their livestock at the fair.   After his death, she still attended every fair, encouraging her grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren with their endeavors.   She was the first woman to become a Fair Board Member, which wasn’t the thing to do at that time (according to some of the older ladies), but it is not all that unusual now.

Although she hadn’t had a horse for many years, she never lost her love of horses.  Her hobbies were reading, embroidering, crocheting traveling and working on her genealogy — which was like a good detective book for her.

Marlene dearly loved her sons and their families, all her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.   She was always thrilled to see them.

She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, grandparents and a great-grandson.

She is survived by: her sons, Glen and significant other, Janet Hamilton, and Gregory and wife Kathy Cowell; grandchildren:  Cari and husband Joshua Eldridge, Jason Cowell, Justin Cowell, Courtney Cowell and Andrew and wife Nikki Cowell; great-grandchildren: Justin and wife Hannah Eldridge, Corbin Southerland, Alec and Cora Jacobs, Brice Cowell, Avery and Christopher Cowell, Orin Eldridge, Jaxon and Emersyn Cowell; great-great-grandchildren, Lily and Violet Eldridge; Travis Mathews, Stacy, Scarlett, Brandon, Derrick Hamilton and their children — whom she considered her grandchildren too.

Memorial services were held May 21 at the Gerth Funeral Chapel. Officiating the service were Sonny Smyser, pastor of the Schuyler County Church of Faith, and Marilyn Fitzgerald, pastor of the Arbela United Methodist Church.  Cari Eldridge performed a verse of In the Garden. Cari Eldridge, Jason Cowell, Justin Cowell, Courtney Cowell, Andrew Cowell, Justin Eldridge, Corbin Southerland, Alec Jacobs, Cora Jacobs, Brice Cowell, Avery Cowell, Christopher Cowell, Orin Eldridge, Jaxon Cowell, Emersyn Cowell, Lily Eldridge and Violet Eldridge served as honorary pallbearers.

Memorials are suggested to the Scotland County Genealogical Society, Lawn Ridge Church or the Arbela United Methodist Church and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Condolences may be sent to the Cowell family by signing the online guestbook at

Arrangements are under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.