Inez Helen (Loff) Bellerud Cowan

A private, graveside service was held February 20, 2015 at Ocean View Cemetery in Port Angeles, Wash., with Douglas Eklund of Olympia, longtime family friend, officiating for Inez Helen (Loff) Bellerud Cowan, 98, of Shelton, Wash. and formerly of Nekoma.

Posted on 3/20/15

She died February 12, 2015, at Alpine Way Continuing Care Community where she has lived the last 4 ½ years.

Inez was born on her Grandparents’ farm home in Erskine, Minn. to Herman and Inger (Kingsland) Loff on May 26, 1916. She moved to Nekoma from Oslo, Minn. when she was 11 years old in 1927. Her Father, Herman Loff, became the elevator operator in Nekoma and eventually owned a farm east of town. She remembered feeling quite lost on the great treeless prairie after her early childhood near the Red River of the North and the trees and lakes of Northern Minnesota. With time, she grew to accept the countryside and fit in with new friends and schoolmates and eventually looked back with fondness for her time in Nekoma. Local dances were a favorite pastime (especially at Nekoma’s Coliseum) and she became known for her beautiful singing voice, sometimes singing on live radio broadcasts in Grand Forks. She graduated Nekoma High School in 1934 as Class President and married the son of the owner of the Nekoma Mercantile, Melvin Bellerud, in 1936. They continued to live in Nekoma as Melvin worked in the “Merc” and she gave birth to her first son, Glen and daughter, Peggy, in Langdon. In 1952, after the birth of second son, Hal, the family left the Dakota/Minnesota winters behind for Puget Sound, settling in Olympia, Wash., where the children grew up, married and had children of their own. She and Melvin traveled to Europe and toured much of the USA and Mexico until Melvin passed away in early 1974.

In late 1975 she married John Cowan of Clallam Bay, Wash., and began 25 years of rural life on the Cowan Ranch, near the Straits of Juan de Fuca on the Olympic Peninsula. They shared many adventures and became avid hobbyists and crafts-folk as John gradually moved into retirement. The couple made several trips to Nekoma, attending the 75 year celebration there in 1980. John passed away in 2000 and Inez moved to Port Angeles, Wash. for about 10 years, making the trip to Nekoma once again in 2005 for it’s Centennial Celebration and passing on many memories of her time there to her children. In her mid-nineties, she moved to an assisted living apartment in Shelton, closer to family. She quickly became a favorite among residents and care-givers there, taking up her knitting needles to make many stocking caps for friends and family as well as for new-born children in need. She was of sound mind to the last, when, surrounded by her loved and loving family, she said her good-byes, and left. She had outlived most of her early circle of friends and family but many others miss her daily.

Inez is survived by her children, Glen Bellerud (Ruth), Port Townsend, Peggy Schouviller (Jerry), Shelton and Hal Bellerud (Debra), Olympia, her sister, Ilia Mae Wilhelmi, Arroyo Grande, Calif., 12 Grandchildren and 15 Great-Grandchildren.

Besides her first and second husbands and parents, Inez was preceded in death by brothers, Wilfred, Arthur and Robert Loff.

Drennan-Ford Funeral Home & Crematory of Port Angeles, Wash. handled the funeral arrangements.

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