Age 80, of West Bend, WI, died on July 15, 2019 at his home on Big Cedar Lake. Tom was a loving husband and best friend of Catherine (nee Moylan) McGowan, devoted father to children Thomas (Beth) McGowan, Mary McGowan Brennan, John (Ginny) McGowan, Jim (Sara) McGowan, Cathy (Dave) McGowan Krug, doting grandfather to Mary McGowan Neuhoff, Thomas J McGowan IV, Anne McGowan Weber, Austin Conner, the late Abbey Conner, Lucy Brennan, Nuala Brennan, Joseph Krug, Maxwell Krug and Nora McGowan. Caring brother to Marguerite (nee McGowan) Hora and faithful companion to his four-legged buddy, Seamus. His legacy of courageous compassion will live on in their hearts. Tom will be remembered for his strength. Physically, he was a formidable protector, able to endure extreme physical pain without batting an eye, while his heartfelt toasts at Christmas dinners provided an annual reminder of the infallible strength of his love for friends and family.
Tom grew up in Chicago and attended Loyola University Dental School where he obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS.) degree. He moved to Wisconsin to obtain his Master of Science in Orthodontics at Marquette University, after which he opened his own practice serving the Menomonee Falls community. Outside of his practice, Dr. McGowan served students of orthodontic medicine for over thirty years as a clinical professor at Marquette University, and was an attending orthodontist on the cleft palate team at Children's Hospital, Milwaukee. Additionally, Dr. McGowan earned his Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodonticts. His ability to navigate his patients' mouths with hands the size of baseball mitts was a miraculous physical feat that corrected thousands of smiles in over forty years of orthodontia.
A Patriot, Dr. McGowan was a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. Tom joined the Navy in 1963 and he was stationed in Florida at the Naval Air Station-Sanford.
Aside from an illustrious career, Tom followed and cheered on his three favorite sports teams-the Bears, Brewers and Badgers, was a prolific reader, and a Fleet Farm aficionado. Most importantly, Tom loved spending days with the family on Big Cedar Lake with his beloved wife, Kay.
Tom was preceded in death by the following family members:
His father Thomas J. McGowan Sr., mother Helen McGowan, sister Patricia Patronski, brother-in-law Chester Patronski, brother-in-law Jim Hora, nephew Kevin Hora, father-in-law Patrick Moylan, mother-in-law Lucy Moylan, sister-in-law Mary Lou O'Grady, brother-in-law Robert Moylan, Sister-in-law Mary Ellen Moylan, niece Maureen Gibbs, and granddaughter Abbey Conner.
A visitation will be held Fri. Aug. 2 at St. Lawrence Parish, 4886 Hwy 175, Hartford, WI 53027 from 9:30 am until the time of the Memorial Mass at 11 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Dr. Thomas McGowan to the Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Reconstruction Fund at Children's Hospital Foundation, PO Box 1997 MS 3050 Milwaukee, WI 53201 or Kraemer Cancer Center, St. Joseph's Hospital, 3200 Pleasant Valley Rd., West Bend, WI 53095.