She was the daughter of Thomas Ewing “Bozo” Cowan, Sr., and Anna Marie Russ Cowan.
Although she felt her primary role was to be a wife and full-time mother to her four children, she also taught mathematics, chemistry, and general science at five different high schools: Virginia High School, Bristol Virginia; Overton High School, Memphis, Tennessee; East Tennessee State University High School, Johnson City, Tennessee; Happy Valley High School, Elizabethton, Tennessee; and Daniel Boone High School, Gray, Tennessee; when a teacher was needed.
She served as Chairman of the Chemistry Department at Overton High School; Director of the Project Manage Mathematics Laboratory at Daniel Boone High School; and Curriculum Director for the OB-GYN Department of the Quillen Medical School at East Tennessee State University, developing the curriculum and providing instructional materials for the Obstetrics-Gynecology Clerkship; and assistant instructor and supervisor for student teachers in both the College of Education As East Tennessee State University and University of Tennessee as a graduate student. She established a home tutoring service providing extensive tutoring at all levels of secondary and college mathematics, chemistry, and related science topics.
She attended Piercetown Elementary School, Piercetown, Tennessee, when her farther was moving houses from the area of Watauga Lake to New Butler, Tennessee. This two-room school with grades 1-3 in one room provided an excellent basis for her education as she listened to the lessons for all three grades and was promoted to second grade in the middle of the year and third grade by the end of the year. She attended Happy Valley Elementary and graduated as Valedictorian of the class of 1958 at Happy Valley High School.
She completed a B.S. degree in Mathematics and Chemistry in 1962 at East Tennessee State University; a Master of Mathematics (M.Math.) degree at the University of Tennessee in 1970; and an Ed.D. degree in Educational Supervision and Computer Science at East Tennessee State University in 1979.
She was certified as Principal, Supervisor, and Teacher of Mathematics, Chemistry, and General Science, grades 7-12; Tennessee Career Ladder; and Professional School Service Personnel Advanced.
She was commended by the state for improved performance of students on Tennessee Proficiency testing. She was listed in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges; International Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women; 2000 Notable American Women, and Who’s Who of American Women.
She scored above 92% of women in quantitate ability on the Graduate Records Examination. Her dissertation research was on the interrelationships of parent, teacher, and student attitudes toward mathematics and student achievement in mathematics. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society; Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi (education); and Kappa Mu Epsilon (mathematics).
As a member of Central Baptist Church, Johnson City Tennessee; Riverbend Baptist Church, Bristol, Tennessee; Central Baptist Church of Bearden, Knoxville, Tennessee; Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis Tennessee; First Baptist Church, Bristol, Virginia; and Happy Valley Baptist Church, Elizabethton, Tennessee, Sandra served as Vacation Bible School Principal; Sunday School and Training Union teacher; Bible Study Leader; Women’s Missionary Union President; Sanctuary Choir member; Pastor’s wife; and Director of Mental Health and Spiritual Counseling for the Tennessee-Venezuelan Partnership Medical Mission to Caracas, Venezuela, in 1988.
She served as Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the Johnson City Christian Women’s Club; member and officer for the Johnson City Altrusa Club, Johnson City Monday Club, and East Tennessee State University Women; President, King College Women; and counselor for Contact Ministries, Inc., a crisis helpline, for over 30 years.
Her hobbies included extensive reading in the areas of psychology, religion, Application studies, education and literature. She was an accomplished seamstress and talented in music, singing alto and playing trumpet, piano and organ. She had traveled to the Holy Land, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and all of the continental states of the United States.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, Dr. Raymond Dean Blevins, Professor of Health Science, East Tennessee State University, and her parents, Thomas Ewing “Bozo” Cowan, Sr., and Anna Marie Russ Cowan. She is survived by her sons Captain and Mrs. (Debra) Raymond Dean Blevins, II, U.S. Army (retired) and Robert Lee Blevins; daughters Mrs. (Paula Fitzgerald) Lisa Dawn Blevins, Nurse Practitioner, and Dr. (Allen) Mary Vee Smith, M.D.; and brother, Lawyer and Mrs. (Roma) Thomas Ewing Cowan, Jr.; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will take place Saturday, February 8, between 2-4pm with the service immediately following at Central Baptist Church in Johnson City. Rev. Dr. Tommy Hood and Rev. Gene Elliott will officiate. Graveside service will take place Sunday February 9 at 2.00pm at Monte Vista Cemetery in Johnson City. Active Pallbearers who are requested to assemble at the church at 3:50 p.m. Saturday and also at the cemetery at 1:50 p.m. Sunday include Dr. Ted Beach, Bill Bradley, Bernard Buckles, Schuyler Cowan, Eric Dotson, Christian Dotson, Noah Dotson and C.L. Morrell. Honorary Pallbearers are Dr. Don Granger, Mark Howze and Dr. Harry Powell. Memorials can be sent to Central Baptist Church, Johnson City Tennessee or Kenilworth Presbyterian Church, Asheville, North Carolina.Family and friends will assemble at the cemetery at 1:50 p.m. Sunday. Condolences may be sent to the family at our web-site www.memorialfcelizabethton.com .
Memorial Funeral Chapel, Elizabethton is serving the Blevins family