Marian McGowan, 83, of the Nativity section of Scranton, died Tuesday morning at St. Mary's Villa, Elmhurst. Her husband of 45 years, Paul McGowan, preceded her in death in 2003.
Born in the Bellevue section of Scranton, she was the daughter of the late Dr. Robert and Margaret Davis Flynn and, after their passing, was raised by her aunts, Mary, Irene and Margaret Flynn. She was a member of St. John Neumann Parish at Nativity of Our Lord Church.
She graduated from both Marywood Seminary and College. While there, she met her future husband and they married in 1958. They moved to Elizabeth, N.J. and started a family that ultimately grew to nine children. They returned to Scranton and settled in Nativity, a place with lots of children and families who looked out for one another.
As her husband, Paul, was one of the area's best golfers, he spent summers at the golf course finding ways to feed their ever growing family. This left Mom to handle the kids and lead to her being affectionately considered a "golf widow."
After years devoted to raising her nine children, she took a position at Nativity of Our Lord School as a teachers' aide and continue to work with children. She was actively involved with Nativity Church, serving as president of the Altar and Rosary Society where she organized many entertaining talent shows. She also was a staple at the annual church festival, including serving as chairwoman. In her later years, she was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and truly loved the time she spent with them.
She was a kind and caring wife, mother, grandmother (affectionately known as "Gobby"), neighbor and friend. With a smile on her face and a song in her heart, all were welcome in her home. She found great joy in crafting and baking, especially her famous brownies. Many Nativity kids can attest to that.
She is survived by her nine children, Meg Behrend, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Maura Foley and fiancé, Jerry Gavin, Dunmore; William and wife, Linda, Scranton; Kathryn and husband, Dr. Robert Droder, Tyler, Texas; Erin and husband, Anthony Grant, Ashburn, Va.; Jeanne, Savannah, Ga.; Paul and wife, Christine, Blue Bell, Pa.; attorney Patricia and Joseph Lafferty, Scranton; Mark and attorney Angela, of New Cumberland, Pa.; 20 grandchildren, Kelsey and Connor Behrend, Erin, Kelly and Tara Foley, Elizabeth, Meghan, Gavin and William McGowan, Emily, Michael and Patrick Droder, Brian and Olivia Grant, Max McGowan, Andrew, Timothy and Jack Lafferty, and Violet and Flynn McGowan; a brother, Dr. Richard Flynn; brother-in-law, Patrick Lahey; sister-in-law, Mary Flynn; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was also preceded in death by her son in-law, David Behrend; her brothers, John and Robert Flynn; her sisters, Margaret Lahey, Kathryn Fitzsimmons; and her brother and sisters-in-law, Joan Flynn, Edward Fitzsimmons and Rita Flynn.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at St. Mary's Villa for their loving care. A special thanks to family friend, Ken Noll, for all he did for our mom and family.
The funeral will be Saturday with Mass of Christian Burial at 9 a.m. at Nativity of Our Lord Church, 633 Orchard St., celebrated by the Rev. Ryan Glenn. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.
Friends may call Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Neil W. Regan Funeral Home Inc., 1900 Pittston Ave., Scranton. The family requests that those attending the funeral on Saturday please proceed directly to the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Marywood University or a charity of the donor's choice. To email condolences, visit the funeral home website.