Verne Angus (Gus) McGowan, 90, passed away on May 24, 2017, at Overland Court Assisted Living in Boise, Idaho after battling squamous cell carcinoma for two and a half years. He was born on December, 4, 1926, in Salmon, Idaho to Verne Ambrose and Mildred Margaret Hall McGowan.
Verne grew up in Challis, Idaho, and graduated early from Challis High School Class of 1945 to enlist in the 86th Infantry Division of the Army. Upon discharge in 1947, he returned home and utilized the G.I. Bill to attend the University of Idaho. While on Christmas break in 1948, he met our mother at a New Year's Dance in Ellis, Idaho. They began dating that spring and were married June 4, 1949, and that fall he entered the University Of Oregon Dental School.
The first summer of their marriage was spent in Stanley, Idaho. Dad worked for The United States Forest Service and Mother for Danner's. Their accommodations were a tent.
While in Portland, Oregon, their first son, William Angus, was born. Upon graduating from the University Of Oregon Dental School in 1953, he moved back to Challis to start practicing dentistry. After returning, their second son, Thomas Verne arrived. Adding to the family was their third son, James Arthur, and daughter Augusta Mae followed. Since he wanted to keep busy, he started another office in Mackay, Idaho, to service the residents of Mackay, Arco, and surrounding area. Dad retired from dentistry in 1997 after 40 years.
Gus and Ruby were married June 4, 1949, in Lewiston, Idaho. They were happily married for 67 years. Dad was a founding member of the Lions Club, served on Challis City Council and was Mayor, served as a director/president of Salmon River Electric Board, served on the Armed Forces Draft Board for Idaho, Member of American Legion Post #109, member of the Challis Masons and Eastern Star, as well as a Shriner.
Dad's favorite pastimes were to beat his children at golf and being part of the Ole Geezer league. He truly was partial to being on the course with Everett Allen and Dick Swindell. Dad enjoyed hunting with old buddies (Dick Morton, Dick Swigert, Carl Ziegler and Garth Chivers) and more recently with his sons, son-in-law, grandsons and Lon Blair. With his family and grandkids, he loved to water and snow ski. "A family that plays together, stays together."
Verne was preceded in death by his parents, Verne and Mildred McGowan, sisters Mabel Piva and Janice McCoy and baby son, Bruce.
Verne is survived by his spouse, Ruby of Challis (just recently of Boise), his sons William (Cindy) McGowan of Cypress, California, Thomas (Becky) McGowan of Challis, Idaho, James (Marla) of Columbus, Montana and daughter Augusta (Harold) of Meridian, Idaho; grandchildren, Brandon McGowan, Kim McGowan, Emily McGowan, Carrie McGowan, Nichole Pickett, Erin Whitworth, Derek McGowan, Calvin McGowan, Bryan McGowan, Ashley Levigne, Alfredo Callistini and Mariah Callistini; his 12 great-grandchildren and one more on the way, nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A graveside service will be held at the Challis Cemetery, June 3, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. with military honors by the American Legion Phillip Kirk Post #109 and the Idaho Honor Guard, burial rites by the Challis Masonic Lodge #92 AF & AM as well as the Florence Chapter #79 Order of Eastern Star.
Family requests memorial donations be made to the organization of your choice.
Arrangements by Jones & Casey Funeral Home of Challis, Idaho. www.jonesandcaseyfh.com.