Alan “Al” McGowen, husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam War Veteran, outdoorsman, gentleman, and friend, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at the age of 79. His loving family surrounded him.
Alan, born in Portland, Maine in June of 1943, was the spirited, first-born son of the late Alan and Clara (Douglass) McGowen of Harpswell, Maine. He grew up knowing responsibility, hardwork and honesty. Alan’s early years were spent outdoors fishing, deer hunting, stacking wood, digging clams, lobstering in Casco Bay, hitching rides, and playing football.
Alan graduated from Brunswick High School and joined the Air Force serving our country for 30 years and achieving the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. Alan longed to see the world and over his career was stationed in Texas, Rhode Island, Nevada, California, Illinois, Michigan, England, Vietnam and Okinawa. Throughout his career he set a superb example of excellence and always achieved the highest scores on his Performance Reports.
While stationed in Michigan, Alan met his wife Cynthia (Mazur) McGowen whom he loved deeply. Together they raised their family. They worked together as a team and provided an example of parenthood for their children to look up to.
After retiring from the Air Force, Alan didn’t sit still unless it was in his recliner at the end of a good day’s work. Soon he began his second career with the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services which kept him active and again serving our community for another 10 years. In his later years, Alan wasn’t ready for his recliner full-time so he took a job with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources where he enjoyed working with the fine people of Harrisville State Park. This kept him outdoors and he was able to mentor some young folks too.
Alan kept up with his Air Force friends and met new friends in the Alcona County Veteran’s Affairs Committee where as a member he strongly advocated for local Veterans. Alan was a lifetime member of the Air Force Sergeants Association, the Armed Forces Top Enlisted Association, The Enlisted Association, the NRA as well as a member of the American Legion.
Alan is survived by his best friend and loving wife of 40 years, Cynthia (Mazur) McGowen, and their three grown children: Lee Major (Bonny), Jeff Major, and Janice Prokopec (John); 5 grandchildren: Billy Buggs, Collin Prokopec, Lauren Prokopec, Bennett Prokopec, and Ethan Prokopec. As well as his two brothers: Scott McGowen (Kathy) and Jay McGowen (Barbara).
Alan loved family unconditionally. He loved and supported his children and grandchildren. Alan didn’t just attend sporting events or graduations; he was the one cheering loudly. Sharing in his children’s achievements made him so pleased and proud. Hunting season with family was Alan’s most favorite time with all his children and grandchildren having learned to shoot and hunt. Coming together at camp for deer season and sharing stories of the hunt was highly anticipated. Time spent out on the water fishing and quietly talking about life took a close second.
Alan and Cynthia loved taking their family on trips to warm places when the Michigan weather turned cold. Watching his grandchildren’s bowling tournaments, track meets, marching band performances, basketball, soccer, and football games were always a priority for Alan.
Alan loved the simple things… hard. But mostly, Alan loved his family in such a way that each one of them knew without a doubt that they were loved. He and Cynthia taught them to end every goodbye with, “I love you.”
In honor of Alan, there will be a gathering of family and friends this Thursday, November 10, 2022 from 9:00 -11:00 AM, Mass at 11:00 AM and brunch to follow at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Oscoda, Michigan. Alan will be laid to rest at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan on Monday, November 14, 2022 at 1:00 PM.
Flowers are certainly welcome; however, consider donating blood and platelets, planting a tree, taking your family out for dinner or a walk in the woods. Alan would love that. You may offer condolences at www.bureshfuneralhomes.com.