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John E. McGowan, 82, passed away at his home in Mesa, Arizona on January 26, 2021. John was born on February 19, 1938 in Butler, Pennsylvania to Angelo and Margaret (Erkens) McGowan. He was the youngest of eight children and raised in the village of Murrinsville, Pennsylvania. John grew up in a log house, attended church as an altar boy, attended a one room schoolhouse, and later attended Hooker High School, where he went on to meet his future wife, Martha Lea Williams. John is survived by his wife, Martha; children, Patricia Ellen, Michael John, Daniel Joseph, and Jennifer Ann; grandchildren, James, Matthew, Michael, Nicolas, and Kate; great-grandchildren, Jaden and Jasmine; siblings, Ed, Mary Krupa, and Gert Ragan. He is preceded in death by his siblings, Aloysius (Al), Richard (Dick), Margaret (Margie) Hartle, and Mary Jane; and grandson, Terry (TJ) Miner.
Though the baby of the family, John daringly entered an Ironworker’s Apprenticeship Program and became a Journeyman Ironworker, “A Real Man of Steel”, which would take Martha and their four children on a journey of a lifetime. John spent the majority of a 40-year career working on buildings, canals, and highways throughout Arizona with a few stops in Nevada and California.
After retiring, John became an avid cyclist, riding 20 miles each and every day for some 20+ years. Throughout his lifetime, John was never one to say no when someone was in need. If you ever needed help with anything, John McGowan was always the man to call. Though a quiet man, some would say the John Wayne type of his era. John was proud man who lived by a code: work hard, be respectful of others, and always protect your family. John was also proud to be an Ironworker and as a perfectionist was suited for the job. He loved to build things that would last and stand the test of time. John McGowan lived a solid life of purpose, providing for his family with an honest day’s work. As man who lived by example, he will be forever remembered by family and all that loved him. Sleep with the angels John Erkens McGowan. You will be sadly missed.
John was laid to rest on February 1, 2021 at Mountain View Funeral Memorial Gardens. 7900 East Main Street, Mesa, Arizona 85207.