Local Obituaries

Jay Norman Cowden, bank vice president, dies at 57

Jay Cowden
Jay Cowden

Jay Norman Cowden, senior vice president of Fifth Third Bank and active in community affairs, died of complications from cancer Friday at St. Joseph Hospital on Harrodsburg Road. He was 57.

Mr. Cowden, who also was the private bank manager for Fifth Third's investment advisers division, previously held leadership positions at other Lexington banks, including Bank of Lexington, First Security National Bank & Trust Co. and Bank One.

Over the years he had been chairman of the board of Hospice of the Bluegrass and had served on the boards of directors of the Lexington Child Abuse Council; Center for Women, Children and Families; Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass; and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass. At his death, he was a member of the hospice board and the Lexington Philharmonic board. He also was a member of the Rotary Club.

Mr. Cowden, a native of Lexington, was the son of Barbara Rehm Cowden and the late William B. Cowden, who was former president and chairman of the board of Lexington-based Cowden Manufacturing, once famous for the jeans it produced.

Mr. Cowden received a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Kentucky, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He also studied at Vanderbilt University.

After receiving his bachelor's degree, he worked for a time at his family's clothing manufacturing business, which made jeans for Levi Strauss & Co. and produced other work and play clothes. He returned to UK, received a law degree and began his career in banking.

Mr. Cowden is survived by his wife, Sarah Robinson Cowden; his mother; a daughter, Ann Rehm Cowden; a son, Lee Ruhl Cowden; and three brothers, Paul David Cowden, William Bruce Cowden Jr. and Roger Rehm Cowden.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington. A reception will be from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the church. Private burial will be in Lexington Cemetery. W.R. Milward Mortuary — Broadway is handling arrangements.

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