Ken Cowley’s Story  

Mary Stevens Hospice logo created in leaded stained glass of blue and white

Born and raised a true Brummie, Ken Cowley lived in Handsworth under the influence of a father who supported West Bromwich Albion, whilst he was not a supporter, he did follow their up/down performance over many years. Ken left school with a handful of arty GCE’s, which formed his career for the next 40 years and beyond.  

Ken Cowley

Ken was always very artistic, from copying pictures on the back of cornflake packets at aged 10, to designing and making furniture. Ken tried his hand at all mediums, from wood and stone carving to pottery, printing and painting. For the last 20 years of Ken’s life, leaded stained glass was his creative choice, which led to commissions from small dishes to large scale windows. Ken would take inspiration for his work from everywhere and anywhere around him, always taking pictures to build up a bank of inspiration.

Ken’s workshop was in his garage at home, where he would spend many hours making everything he thought possible, in glass.

Ken and his wife, Jenny, joined the Sussex Art Collective where they would travel to art shows to display and sell an array of Ken’s stained glass pieces. Many of these pieces were heavily inspired by the Art Deco style of the 1920s and 30s.  

Following Ken’s terminal diagnosis in January, palliative care began straight away with the aim of making him pain free. Then a referral was made for Ken to attend the FAB (Fatigue and Breathing) groups in the Day Unit at Mary Stevens Hospice. Whilst he initially did have some trepidations about attending, the sessions were thoroughly enjoyed by Ken and other patients who expressed that they were pleased he had joined them for the sessions.  

True to Ken seeking inspiration for his stained glass pieces from everywhere and anywhere, once he had visited the Hospice, he began work on creating a stained glass piece of our blue and white logo. 

Unfortunately, Ken did not manage to finish the piece completely and asked his dear friend, Trevor, to cement the piece and for it to come to the Hospice. This beautiful stained glass Mary Stevens Hospice logo now hangs in our Day Unity corridor for patients, staff and volunteers to admire.  

A small part of Ken is now with us at the Hospice, where we can share words about how talented and passionate he was about his craft. This piece of beautiful art hangs in our window, making staff, volunteers and patients smile every time they drive past too.  

“The success of one’s life is marked out by the people one has met, the places one has seen and the aims one has achieved and, to coined a phrase, the lessons one has learned along the way.” – Ken Cowley 

Thank you, Jenny Cowley, for sharing Ken’s story with us.