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Saul Cowan (1910-2002) was the seventh of nine children born to Zvi Hirsh (Harris) Cohen (1872-1954) and Chana Leah (Annie) (née Gollom) Cohen (1873-1960). His siblings were Woolf Cowan (Colvin) (1896-1987), Kate Cowan (b.1898) (m. Wener), Jack Cowan (1900-1992), Rivka (Reva) Cowan (1902-ca.2002) (m. Lieberman), Moe Cowan (b.1904), Jeanne Cowan (b.1906) (m. Kallman), Norman Cowan (b. 1909) and Miriam Cowan (b. 1919) (m. Rose).
The Cowan family immigrated to Toronto from England with their six oldest children about 1908. Harris worked as a tailor in England and an operator in men's clothing factory Tip Top Tailors in Toronto.
Saul graduated from the University of Toronto in 1931 in Honours Philosophy.
In 1932, Cowan married Lillian Rosenthal (1910-1978) the daughter of Morris (1883-1967) and Nessie (Celia) (née Soren) Rosenthal (1881-1969). Together, they had two children, Michael (b. 1939) and Trudy (b. 1941). The Rosenthal family ran a boarding house on Hanlan's Point and had a place at Belle Ewart. In 1945, Morris and Celia purchased Wapaska Lodge on Muskoka Bay just outside Gravenhurst and ran it as a family resort from 1948-1965.
Lillian, who was a public school teacher, passed away in 1978 and the following year Saul married Libbie Aiken (d. 2006) Libbie had been the head physiotherapist at the Toronto General Hospital during the late 1940s.
Saul pursued a career with the North York Board of Education serving as both Trustee and Chairman from 1958 to 1976. He was also very involved with the Jewish community and the growing North York community, involved with organizations such as B'Nai Brith, Canadian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (CPPNW), the North York Social Planning Committee, and was a founder of the York Finch General Hospital.
Trudy studied physical and occupational therapy at the University of Toronto but changed career direction when she moved to Calgary in 1969 and became involved in historical organizations such as the Glenbow Museum, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, and the Lougheed House Conservation Society. She married Leonid Luker (b. 1937) in 1982.