Francis McGowan

Francis D. McGowan

1924 - 2018

Share Your Memory of
Grief Support call to action
Pre planning call to action

Obituary of Francis D. McGowan

Francis “David” McGowan, 94, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 22, 2018, just before midnight. Born August 3, 1924, in Summit, NJ, he was the son of the late Joseph L. and Jessie (Vanderhoof) McGowan.

David was a lifelong resident of Madison and graduated High School in 1943. Shortly after that, David proudly served his country in the United States Navy during World War II. Once stateside, David apprenticed as a plumber, holding the distinction of one of the early licenses in the state of NJ. As a Plumber he began his career using cast iron, transitioned to copper and kept pace with technology by continuing his education through the use of PVC. David's service was known for its quality and endurance and he also held the privilege of servicing the Geraldine R Dodge Estate, including St. Hubert’s.   

David had a zeal for life that was equally matched by his generous heart and quick mind. He was energized by the brass and percussion of marching bands and he and his wife were known for “cutting a rug” while dancing the jitterbug to the music of big bands. David’s spirit of adventure also fueled his enthusiasm for travel. His children will remember their summer camping vacations, which took them as far north as Canada, as far south as Georgia and as far west as Oklahoma.  Later, that same passion took he and Virginia around the world. A few of the highlights include: sailing the Nordic seas, an excursion through British Columbia by train, a visit to the great pyramids at Giza and one of his favorites, Alhambra, Spain. They would later travel with family to Europe and spend the winter months in Florida.

David’s bright smile, brilliant blue eyes, and hearty laugh went hand in hand with his generosity. No hour was too late for a plumbing emergency, and he always pulled over to assist roadside travelers. An avid reader of Newspapers and National Geographic, David had a thirst for knowledge, and he genuinely enjoyed connecting with others on a wide range of topics. He instilled in all of his children the spirit of independence, a flame of their father that they will always treasure.

Besides his parents, David was predeceased by his sisters and their spouses, Catherine and Edward Farr, Eleanor and Jack Livesey, and his brother, Joseph, “Red”, who is survived by his wife Dorothy (Miller). Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Virginia (Mulhall); his seven children: Dave, Karen, Sharon and husband, Paul Scappetto, Maureen and husband, Christopher Tauber, Patricia, Kathleen, Colleen and husband William Santoro. Grandchildren include Paul and Michael and wife Catherine Scappetto, Christian and wife Elizabeth, Lesley and Dru McGowan, Dylan, Leah, and Derrick Conmy and Erin Santoro. He also has great-grandchildren: Kyla, Gia, Keighlyn, Gabriella, Kyra, and Kayden.

A Memorial Service will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2019, at St. Vincent’s RC Church, 26 Green Village Road, Madison, NJ with Pastor, Fr. George, officiating.

Memorial donations in memory of David may be made to Oglala Lakota College, P.O. Box 537, 537 Piya Wiconi Road, Kyle, South Dakota 57752-0537. (Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Wounded Knee)

Online condolences may be made by visiting

Arrangements are under the direction of the Madison Memorial Home, 159 Main Street, Madison NJ, 07940

To send flowers to the family of Francis McGowan, please visit Tribute Store

Memorial Funeral Mass

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, January 5, 2019
St. Vincent Martyr RC Church
26 Green Village Road
Madison, New Jersey, United States