Obituary of Virginia M. McGowan
Virginia Mary McGowan, 96, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 3, 2023, before dawn. A resident of Madison for over 55 years, she was born November 5, 1926, in Cumbola, PA. She is the daughter of the late James Mulhall and Helen (Nedzinski) Mulhall.
A bright learner, Virginia was promoted two grade levels in grammar school and graduated Valedictorian at age 16 from Pottsville High School. She was a lifelong learner and voracious reader, dedicating much of her focus on religious studies and nutrition.
After graduation, Virginia relocated to NJ and began her career as a secretary, and moved up the ranks to become an executive secretary. She remained in this esteemed position until she married F. David McGowan and started a family in 1951. Later in life, she would “revive” this aspect of herself as her husband's business manager.
However, mother always told us that her primary passion in life was to raise a large family, much akin to her own childhood. She and Dad succeeded to that end, parenting seven children. During that time, even though TV dinners became “the fad,” Virginia continued with her daily regimen of providing nutritional home cooked meals and her specialty, delicious baked bread. In addition to that, Virginia also sewed complex window dressings, tailored dress patterns and delightful outfits for her children, while teaching them the skills to do so for themselves. Virginia instilled in her family, and also modeled, the Christian values of Integrity, Kindness, Forgiveness, Resilience, Endurance and Faith.
As much as Virginia maintained the “tried and true” practices of her past, she was also a pioneering woman, much ahead of her time, especially in her stewardship of the earth. Virginia tilled her own soil, grew an organic garden with her own compost and canned many vegetables. She was a disciplined and unwavering advocate of complete and unprocessed natural foods, evidenced by her healthy life-style until the end. She participated in “recycling” well before that concept became mainstream.
A devout Catholic, Virginia’s religious and spiritual life was the cornerstone of her existence. An active member of St. Vincent’s RC Church in Madison, NJ, she participated in a series of workshops and training over a four-year period that would be equal to that of a Deacon. Her servitude spirit was shown through her deeds as a eucharist minister to the local nursing home, caring for women in need with both counseling and performing daily errands, as well as spending overnights with the homeless. Her philanthropic contributions were generous, so much so that she is considered a Patron to many charitable and religious organizations.
Virginia was predeceased by her husband and parents, her sisters, brothers and their spouses. She was survived by her seven children, Dave and wife, Lynn, Karen and companion, Steve Kurlo, Sharon and husband, Paul Scappetto, Maureen and husband, Christopher Tauber, Patricia and companion, Tag Skinner, Kathleen, Colleen and husband, William Santoro. Grandchildren include Paul, Michael and wife Catherine Scappetto, Christian and wife Elizabeth, Dru and wife Oksana and Lesley McGowan, Dylan, Leah and Derrick Conmy and Erin Santoro. She also has great-grandchildren: Kyla, Gia, Keighlyn, Gabriella, Kyra, Kayden and Olivia.
A memorial service will take place at 5:00 pm on Friday, April 28, 2023 at Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church, 390 County Road #523, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889, with Reverend Leonard Rusay, Pastor, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Virginia may be made to The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and Doctors Without Borders.
Arrangements are under the care of Madison Memorial Home.
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Madison, NJ 07940
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