Sunday, June 15, 2014

John Raymond McGowan, Jr 1932-1979 #52Ancestors #23

John Raymond McGowan, Jr. was the oldest of five children born to John and Georgia Fratoddi McGowan. He was born October 1, 1932 in Birmingham, Alabama. You can see his baby book here.

John was baptized October 16, 1932 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West End by Rev Walter J. Tobin.
Blessed Sacrament
He attended West End High School, where he graduated in 1951. From his 1951 yearbook, he was known as Jungle John and Shag. His ambition was "To be a success in everything I undertake". His activities were "Various Session Room Offices, and Student Teacher". His Quotation was "The paths of glory lead but to the grave".
John broke his knee cap playing football. He walked around on it anyway. This resulted in a limp and built up shoe for the rest of his life.
Senior picture, 1951
John went to work for the Birmingham News/Post Herald where he would work in the engraving department all his life.

John married Anna Tidwell  August 16, 1958 at Wylam Baptist Church in Jefferson County, Alabama.

John was the father of three; myself, John Tidwell McGowan, and William Neal "Bill" McGowan.
Family Photo. Bill wasn't born yet.

John was a lover of the outdoors and could be found hunting or fishing every chance he got. He dipped Gold Seal Snuff and chewed Red Man Tobacco, and always drove a Chevrolet truck with step sides. There was usually a dog box in the back for his hunting dogs. If you looked hard enough, you might find a bottle of MD2020 stashed somewhere in the truck, but sweet tea was downed by the gallon at home. There was always a gun rack in the cab, and a snake bite kit in the glove box. He was a member of Tombigbee Hunting Club in Boligee, Alabama, where he could be found every Saturday during deer season. We always had venison in the freezer.
We never knew what kinds of animals would turn up. I can remember having geese, a fox, and a squirrel. We always had a pen full of hunting dogs.
That is no doubt some Red Man in his cheek

He was also strong as a bear, although the bear got the best of him in this wrestling match.


This beautiful tribute was written by family friend John E. Phillips
John died January 19, 1979 of liver cancer. I found out years later that printer's ink can cause liver cancer. John is buried in Hueytown, Alabama at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery.


Happy Father's Day Daddy! I love and miss you!