Army major a cheery figure with a healthy disregard for authority
MAJOR Ralph Cowdy
Major Ralph Cowdy served as High Sheriff of Armagh after returning home following a long career as a British army officer. Born at Drumilly, Loughgall in 1940, he went to school in Dungannon and Killylea before being privately educated in england.
He was posted to Germany, Aden, Bahrain and Cyprus, as well as england and Belfast. Leading tank squadrons, Cowdy earned a reputation as a cheerful figure with a healthy disregard for authority. After the army he managed a boarding school in the south of France. He was a Francophile who enjoyed wine and snails. A keen horseman, he also worked on the international Horse Show at London's Olympia.
On returning to Northern Ireland Major Cowdy took over the management of the family farm at Summer island, Loughgall.
He was made High Sheriff of Armagh in 2006 and also served as Deputy Lieutenant of Armagh. Ralph Edward Cope Cowdy died on October 29 and was cremated after a service at St Mark's Parish Church in Armagh. Married twice, he is survived by a daughter, brother and two grandchildren.