Cover photo for Janet Ellen Cowgill's Obituary
Janet Ellen Cowgill Profile Photo
1942 Janet 2023

Janet Ellen Cowgill

March 8, 1942 — January 15, 2023

The family of Janet Ellen Cowgill, 80, of Sedona, is saddened to announce she passed away with family by her side on Jan. 15, 2023.

Janet was born on March 8, 1942, in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., to Frank and Laura (DiGilio) Pestone, the second of two children.

Janet grew up in the Bronx, where her father owned and operated an auto parts store, Van Nest Auto Parts, which still operates under the guidance of Janet’s brother, Frank Jr., and nephew, Craig.

She attended Catholic school in the Bronx, often sharing stories of how the nuns would punish her with a slap on the wrist of a ruler. As she explained, she couldn’t keep a straight face when her classmates would quietly crack a joke behind the teacher’s back and would then be scolded for laughing.

In 1972 she traveled to Wyoming to visit a friend and serendipitously met her future husband, Keith, in a small-town bar. They married on Aug. 11, 1973 in New York, where they lived another four years. Their daughter Janelle was born in 1976 in Mt. Vernon at the same hospital and by the same doctor that delivered Janet. The family of three moved to Arizona in 1977 and established roots in Sedona, growing to a family of four when their son Ross was born in 1978.

Janet worked in bookkeeping and accounting for many Sedona-area businesses including Verde Valley School and Los Abrigados Resort. She was heavily involved in Girl Scouts with Janelle and was an expert seamstress, having handmade many of Janelle and Ross’ Halloween costumes when they were young. She planted dozens of flowers in her backyard every Spring, enjoyed spending time outdoors in the sun and going on long road trips across the Southwest with Keith in their camper.

Above all, she cherished time with her family especially her husband, children and most importantly, grandchildren.

Janet and Keith celebrated their 49th anniversary in August 2022, shortly before Keith succumbed to cancer on Sept. 3, 2022. A week after Keith’s death, Janet suffered a massive heart attack and was hospitalized for the next four months.

Janet is survived by her daughter Janelle Brannock and husband Mike; son Ross Cowgill and wife Krista; grandchildren Olivia and Harrison Brannock, and Hunter, Ethan, Elizabeth and Laura Cowgill; brother Frank Pestone and wife Peggy; as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

A funeral Mass for both Keith and Janet will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 4, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 700 N. Bill Gray Road, Cottonwood.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul ( or Northern Arizona Hospice (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Janet Ellen Cowgill, please visit our flower store.


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