Mike was truly a person “of service” and always had time to very patiently listen to anyone asking for his help. If you knew Mike, then you could appreciate his infectious smile, his quick wit, and his awesome sense of humor. For many years, he served on the outreach team at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston by volunteering his time and energy to speak with patients newly diagnosed with gastric cancers. He was a source of comfort for many, many others during his life journey.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents Eddie and Ida Cowell of Johnson City and sister in law, Sonia Cowell of San Francisco. Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Janis of Austin, his brother Joe and wife, Cathy of Fernandina Beach, Florida and his brother Patrick of San Francisco, and Patrick’s daughter Chelsea of Los Angeles.
Mike was a 1971 graduate of Science Hill High School where he participated in athletics, ROTC and the drill team. He attended East Tennessee State University where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He also attended the University of Tennessee.
Mike was an accomplished hotel executive. In his early hotel career, Mike was the Rooms Executive of several hotels including the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Nashville, and the Adams Mark hotel in St. Louis. He became General Manager of the Radisson Hotel in Denver, and later of the Radisson Hotel in Austin.
He was a Senior Vice President of Development for Carlson Radisson Hotels from 1989 until 2014 where he served as the Director of Hotel Marketing and was responsible for the cooperative marketing of both domestic and international properties. In late 2014, he joined the Dream Hotel Group of New York, where he was a Senior VP of Development. In 2018, he joined Trump Hotels as a Senior VP of Development. He retired in March 2019 and started his own hotel consulting company.
His family is grateful to the medical community at MD Anderson in Houston for giving Mike these past 19 years of life, and to the medical staff at St. David’s in Austin for their compassionate care at the end.
Should you choose, a directed contribution in memory of Mike may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center, c/o Dr. Paul Mansfield Research, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210-4486 or www.mdanderson.org/gifts.