William R. “Bill” Gowan made his final climb up the mountain and crossed over to his heavenly home on Thursday, June 18, 2015.
Mr. Gowan was born October 9, 1924, in Morgantown.
He served in the United States Navy and was a member of the commissioning crew of the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La during World War II. After leaving the Navy, he married the love of his life, Audrea Sheets.
Following a brief career with the West Virginia Wildlife Management Department, Gowan stared his long-term career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the federal reformatory located in Chillicothe, Ohio. When the reformatory closed, he transferred to the minimum security prison camp located on Enlin Air Force Base in Florida. From there, he moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, where he worked for the United States Penitentiary and subsequently retired after a successful 21-year career. He and his wife moved to Tullahoma, Tennessee in 1982.
Mr. Gowan served as a commissioner for the Center Grove Water District for eight years; he was also a charter member of the North Franklin County Volunteer Fire Department which he served for 25 years and was named Fireman of the Year. He was a member of the Federal Prison Retirement Association, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, NRA, AARP and American Legion Post 43. He was also a member of the Winchester First United Methodist Church.
He was a loving and much loved husband, dad, grandpa, brother, cousin and friend.
He had a long, personal relationship with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and, although we miss him dearly, we are confident in the knowledge that we will see him again in heaven.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, William H. and Victoria Taylor, who raised him; a special aunt, Nancy Cassell; infant daughter, Vivian Lea Gowan; and a brother-in-law, Ray Sheets.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of nearly 68 years, Audrea Gowan; a daughter, Loretta Smith, and husband, Jim; granddaughter, Jamie McClellan, and husband, Matt; a grandson, Mike Smith, and wife, Andrea; great-grandsons, Sebastian McClellan, Isaac McClellan and Lucas McClellan; special cousin, Linda Hawkins; sisters-in-law, Daisy Chapman and Wanda Griffin; brothers-in-law, Jerry Ridgley and Jim Ridgley; and many other cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service and celebration of Mr. Gowan’s life will be held Saturday, June 27, 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of the Winchester First United Methodist Church, 100 S. Jefferson Street, Winchester, Tennessee. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Partners for Healing, 109 W. Blackwell Street, Tullahoma, TN 37388; or the North Franklin County Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 1362, Tullahoma, TN 37388.