Cover photo for Grover L. McGowan's Obituary
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1927 Grover 2021

Grover L. McGowan

December 10, 1927 — November 18, 2021

“Life is not measured by how long you live. Life is measured by how you live… that is all.” Grover Leonidus McGowan was born on December 10, 1927 to Grover and Sarah Ella(Smith) in Jabez, Kentucky and went to be with his Lord and Savior, on November 18, 2021. Being raised on a farm with 12 brothers and sisters was hard at times, but they had love and each other to get them through the tough challenges. After being drafted into the Army, he was assigned into the US Army Air Corp, rising to the rank of First Lieutenant of the Intelligence Battalion/Executive office. He was honorably discharged after serving in both World War II and the Korean War. His commanding officer offered Leon a position at the Pentagon with free tuition to the Ivy League school of his choice. He declined the offer and instead graduated in less than four years from Eastern Kentucky with a Bachelor's degree in Education and continued post graduate work at Butler University. He loved learning and attended many continuing education courses after graduation. After his stint in the Army, he and his new bride, Christine, moved to Indiana where he began his long and fruitful career at Allison Gas Turbine. His nickname was MAC and all who worked with him or for him respected and appreciated his leadership. Leon retired after 35 years of service at Allisons as Sr. Vice President of the Service Parts Operations. Although he loved his work, what mattered most to Leon was his family and his love for Christ. Leon played an active role at the First General Baptist Church in Indianapolis where he was a deacon, Sunday school teacher for over 50 years and held numerous national board positions. He also served as a Gideon, with the hope of spreading the gospel throughout the world. Music was also dear to his heart, whether it be singing his favorite hymns at church or a gospel jam session with banjos and guitars. Leon was a true patriarch of the family; he relished the time he spent with his grandkids, readily available to go fishing, have a meal together, or watch dance recitals, plays and ball games. His “secret money” handshake was a favorite among them all. The most treasured times, however, were during family gatherings where no family time began until everyone gathered for prayer. As his years progressed, his prayers turned into sermons but those times are what the family truly relished. Leon was the epitome of a humanitarian who was generous with his time and resources; never asking for anything in return. He helped fund students’ educations, supply food and lodging to those in need and supported missionaries at home and abroad. He sat with the sick, counseled youth and was a role model who led a giving Christian life that was full of love, family and friends. His faith in God sustained him during his 93 years here on earth and throughout his 70 years of marriage. Leon is survived by his wife, Christine, his children, Gregory(Bev) and Vickie Spoerle(Kurt) ; his grandchildren, Lindsey Catellier(Jason), Valerie Horn(Greg), Melanie Lewis-Walls( Nick), Samuel Spoerle(Natalie), Stephen McGowan(Shannon), Philip Spoerle and Ella Minatel(Michael). Great grandchildren include: Logan, Allison, Jacob, Clayton, Camryn, Garrett,Delaney, Leonidas, Claire, Lucas and Kaleigh. Leon will forever be in our hearts, until we all meet again. Funeral arrangements are provided by Hampton Gentry Funeral of Plainfield, IN. The calling will be on Sunday, November 21, 2021 from 2-5pm at the First General Baptist Church, 3950 W. Mooresville Rd., Indianapolis, Indiana. The funeral will be held on Monday, November 22, 2021 at 10am at the same church with a military honors burial immediately following at Maple Hill in Plainfield. If desired, in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Gideons International (https://www.gideons.org/donate) or the Wounded Warrior Project (https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/)
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