DeSoto Mayor Curtistene S. McCowan has passed away at age 72. In early October, McCowan shared that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer, on Wednesday a city spokesman said she died as a result of complications related to that battle.
McCowan was elected Mayor of DeSoto in May 2016 and was re-elected to a second term in 2019.
Before serving as mayor she was a city council member and held several positions on DeSoto's economic development board. McCowan founded Concerned DeSoto Citizens and was active in the organization for 31 years alongside her husband.
McCowan was very active in education at the national, state and local level. She was the first African-American elected to public office when she won a seat on the DeSoto Independent School District Board of Trustees in 1990. She served as president for two of the six years on the board. In January 2007 a middle school was named after her.
McCowan was featured alongside Lancaster's mayor during the NBC 5 series Community Conversations: A Call for Change discussing what she did and planned to do following the outcry for change after the death of George Floyd.
McCowan is survived by her husband of 54 years, Leon R. McCowan, two sons and three grandchildren.
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Services will be held at Kirkwood Temple CME Episcopal Church in Dallas, a date has not yet been announced.