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Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home Helps Families Through Difficult Times

Photographer / Heidi Pruitt

Sarah Taylor and Tanya Cowan of Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Tipton are honored to be able to serve their community. Both women feel a special calling to serve local families during the difficult time of losing a loved one. They are especially grateful to be part of the legacy left by Jeff Stout, a Kokomo businessman who touched the lives of many.

Stout, who passed away in February of this year, was a funeral home owner, a coroner, a member of the city council, a fireman and a businessman. By all accounts, his life was filled with examples of helping others succeed in business. The story of how Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home came to be is just one example.

Taylor and Cowan met each other after graduating from high school, when they both attended Wright beauty school in Kokomo. Their workstations were assigned next to each other and they became best friends. However, after they both got married and had children, they lost touch. It wasn’t until Cowan attended a visitation at a funeral home where Taylor was working, when they reconnected.

“I was so surprised to see Sarah working there,” Cowan says. “I had always felt a nudge to work in the funeral business but had never had the opportunity. We talked a long while and she told me someone had recently quit and they had an opening.”

Cowan took the job and progressed from being a greeter to a cleaner, and eventually took on any other task needed, including making trips to pick up deceased individuals. Taylor encouraged her to attend the Mortuary Science program at Ivy Tech in Indianapolis. After both women completed state licensing requirements and passed a national board exam, they began dreaming of owning a funeral home.

“We had a friend who knew we were interested in opening up our own funeral business,” Cowan says. “He knew Jeff and told him about us. Jeff had an entrepreneurial mindset all the time, and any time he could help someone he felt was hard-working, he was all over that. Jeff called us up and said, ‘I’ve heard about you guys, and I feel in my heart that something good can be done.’”

The women met with Stout and he shared his plan. He knew two funeral businesses were up for sale, but had to be purchased together. Stout’s plan was to buy both and gradually sell one to Taylor and Cowan.

“We were worried but Jeff told us, ‘You will have to work hard, but I will support you,’” Cowan says. “He took us under his wing and answered every question we had. We did everything he told us to. We are so proud to say that not one time did we ever miss a payment.”

Stout realized the impact that the death of a pet can have on a family. In 2011, he was instrumental in opening Paws @ Rest, a Howard County pet cremation service. This influenced Taylor and Cowan to offer services for the loss of beloved animal companions.

“Sarah and I are both huge animal lovers,” Cowan says. “Pets add so much to life, and they love like people can’t. We provide the services we would want for our own pets.”

Cowan says she and Taylor were fortunate to connect with Stout.

“Finding Jeff was a God thing,” she says. “He was very genuine. Someone like that usually never comes along in life.”

Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home and Cremation Services is located at 314 North Main Street in Tipton. For more info, call 765-675-2963 and visit taylorcowanfh.com.

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