Eugene McGowan, 89, of Marion, passed away on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 11:16 am at his home in Marion.
Eugene was born October 24, 1929 in Creal Springs the son of Ralph and Myrtle May (Hood) McGowan. He married Gypsy J. Allen on August 7, 1951 at Cana Church and together they have shared over 67 years of marriage.
Eugene was a man of God and the oldest living member and deacon of Mt. Moriah General Baptist Church in Creal Springs. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and Williamson County Shrine club.
He was retired from the US Army as a Lt. Colonel where he bravely served 20 years during the Vietnam War and the Korean conflict. He was a helicopter pilot transporting troops during mission and various Generals to headquarters. He had a near death experience where his mission was changed and the transport he was supposed to pilot was destroyed. He received the Bronze star for bravery. He had nine lives and truly enjoyed talking about Choppers. Once retired, he began another career managing busses in Herrin, Johnston City, Cairo and Marion for RW Harmon Busses. He was a witty man who enjoyed tinkering with things around his shop and camping in Texas. He will be dearly missed.
Survivors include his; Wife – Gypsy McGowan of Marion
Daughter – Cheryl Ann Rister (Ivan) of Harrisburg
Daughter – Eugina Axe (David) of Goreville
Pamela Sue Rister of Morganfield, Kentucky
Savannah Jeralds of Goreville
Tiffany Rinne of St. Louis, Missouri
Four great grandchildren;
Kren Lee Rister
Karis Monique Taborn
Kean Tyrone Taborn
Braiden Michael Connor
Two great great grandchildren;
“Princess Leia” and “Fern Gulley”
Sister – Melba Mausey of Crab Orchard
Several nieces and nephews
Preceded by his Parents, son – Michael Allen McGowan, three grandchildren – Ivan Rister, Jr., Timara Nichole Rister, Nicholas Shawn Rister, sister - Mary Louise McGowan and twin sister – Pauline Holmes.
Funeral services will be Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 11 am at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home with Pastor Ben Taylor officiating. Burial will follow in Egyptian Memorial Gardens. Military rites will be presented by members of the Herrin/Carterville VFW/American Legion Post Ritual Team and the National Guard Flag Detail Unit. Visitation will be Wednesday evening from 5 – 8 pm at the funeral home.
For those who prefer memorials may be made to Mt. Moriah General Baptist Church. Envelopes will be available and accepted at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home, 800 North Market Street, Marion, Illinois 62959.