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A. Sherman Gowans


1917 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
A. Sherman Gowans Obituary
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, World War II veteran, and everybody’s friend died peacefully, September 7, 2018. Resilient, happy, positive engaged with all around him to the end. Sherm will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. Sherm was known for his humming, singing, amazing joke-telling ability (often forgetting the punch line after a big build up,) and incredibly disciplined, healthy life style.

Born October 27, 1917, the third of five children to Albert Hugh and Zella Spray Gowans in Tooele, Utah. In 1938 Sherm was called along with six of his friends to serve an LDS mission in Norway. Due to the outbreak of World War II, he finished his mission in the Southern States.

In March 1941 Sherm left for military service. One year later, Sherm married his sweetheart, Grace Murdoch, in the Kentucky Mission Home accompanied by Grace’s mother and Keith Facer, best man (who later married Grace’s sister, Virginia.) Marriage later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple.

Sherm was one of the last LDS missionaries to leave Norway in 1939 and the first to return after the liberation in 1945 as a warrant officer and assistant military attaché. In 1946, Sherm helped Elder Ezra Taft Benson who stayed with Sherm when he came to Norway to distribute food to members of the Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter-Day   Saints. In 1947, Sherm joined with two of his former Norwegian missionaries to form the Maxfield Candy Company. This career was interrupted in 1949 when, at age 31, he was called to be president of the Norwegian Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, accompanied by his 27-year-old wife, Grace, and three children, Dick, Judy, and Marilyn. In 1950, as mission president, Sherm helped with the publication of the first Norwegian language Book of Mormon. Following his time as mission president, Sherm pursued a career in sales for many years. His friends claimed that Sherm was such a good salesman, “he could sell ice cubes to Eskimos!” Sherm was always known for his absolute integrity, sometimes sealing “big deals” with a handshake.

Sherm and Grace served an LDS mission at the Swiss Temple, 1983-1985. At age 70, Sherm started working for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and in 1987, Sherm and Grace moved to Oregon where Sherm, later, became Assistant Recorder at the Portland, Oregon Temple. Sherm lovingly cared for Grace for many years prior to her passing in 2004. Grace and Sherm shared 62 years of adventure, service and happiness together. For several years, Sherm was an active member of the Swanee Singers. From the time Sherm was a young recruit in the Army, all his life, he was known as someone who always showed initiative, went the extra mile, and was never satisfied with doing a mediocre job.

The last five years of his life, Sherm was lovingly cared for by his daughter, Marilyn. Special thanks to the Visiting Angels caregivers (Dana and Casey), Cameron from South Davis Community Services, and his new friends at Chancellor Gardens. Sherm is survived by six children: Richard (LeAnn) Gowans, Judy (Roger) Kirkham, Marilyn (Art, deceased) Harmon, Connie (Doran) West, Ronald (Michelle) Gowans, Alan (Sherri) Gowans, thirty-six grandchildren, and an ever-growing number of great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be Saturday, September 15, at 11:00 a.m. at the Jensen Park ward building, 3024 S. 1200 W. Syracuse, UT. A viewing will be held Friday, September 14, from 6:00- 8:00 p.m., at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East 10600 South, Sandy, UT and prior to the funeral services from 9:00 -10:30 am at the Jensen Park ward building. Interment at Larkin Sunset Gardens.
Published in Deseret News from Sept. 9 to Sept. 14, 2018
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