24230 McGowanMCGOWAN, JOHN FRANCIS (June 25, 1922-July 28, 2013)…

Passed away at LHSC on Sunday, July 28, 2013.  Born in Montreal, John was one of 11 children of John Phillip and Rose Ellen McGowan. All of his siblings predeceased him: Alphonse, Mary, Catherine, Bernard, Bernice, Margaret, Francis, Neil, Peter and Stanley.  John loved to recount tales of growing up on St. Urbain Street, attending McGee High and playing for three hockey teams at once.  He joined the Army in 1940, as he said, in order to play more hockey. Instead he received training in Canada and England. He served valiantly in the 17th Royal Duke of York Hussars for the duration of the war. He was a sergeant in the reconnaissance unit that saw tense and highly dangerous action throughout France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.  He refused an offer to take officer’s training so he could stay with his men.  He carried the names of some those killed in action in his wallet and prayed for them every day.  His active service ended about 10 days short of the Armistice when his car was bombed and he jumped clear only to severely injure his ankle in the hard landing. After the war John worked for CPR for 35 years as a locomotive fireman and engineer and latterly as a diesel engineer.  He loved the railroad and frequently regaled his audience with stories about his co-workers and the tricks they played on one another. John was predeceased by his cherished wife of 63 years, Ursula (2011). He is survived and lovingly remembered by all of the  children of his large and blended family: Donald Lenaghan (Wilma), Lorne Lenaghan (Dianne), Peter McGowan (Shirley), Kathleen McGowan (Don Blay) and Edward McGowan (Bonnie Dunbar) and by grandchildren Karen, Heather, Colleen, Randy, Brent, Brad, Jennifer, John, Katie Anne, Victoria, Duncan and Lucas and great grandchildren David, Moira, Mackenzie, Shamus, Becky, Ryan, Andrew, Jamie, Rachel, Alanah, Keegan, Matthew, John and Andrew and was immensely proud of each of them.  This wonderful blended family expanded to add the Blays, Ben, Sarah and Tony and, much to Dads delight, Rylan and Tatum Blay.   He loved and was immensely proud of all of these young persons. He is also lovingly remembered by his many nieces and nephews.  John had a cotillion of friends over the years. He was an immensely social man who treated everyone the same and always made people smile with his sense of humour which was alive and healthy into his final days in the hospital. The family is most grateful to the amazing staff and wonderful residents at Amica of London for their many kindnesses and great friendship.  We will always be indebted to the nursing staff of 4 IP at LHSC for their attentiveness and gentle care.  They are unsung heroes in a milieu often fraught with pain and suffering. The Funeral Mass will take place Friday, August 2, 2013 a11:00 a.m. at St. George Catholic Church, 1164 Commissioners Road, London (Byron) ON. Visitation will be at the Church an hour before Mass. In lieu of flowers donations to your favourite charity would be appreciated. A. Millard George Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements (519-433-5184).  Online condolences, memories, and photographs shared at www.amgfh.com

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