Leonard Thomas McGowan, age 83, of Waunakee passed away on Friday, June 4, 2021 at Agrace Hospice Care. He was born on June 13, 1937 in Poynette, Wisconsin, the son of Thomas McGowan and Elizabeth (Schubring) McGowan.
Len grew up on a farm in Columbia County and graduated from Poynette High School in 1956. His experiences on the farm shaped his work ethic and his appreciation for the out-of-doors. He began work off the farm at the canning factory in Waunakee. After a time working for American TV and for himself as an appliance repair technician, Len took a job with DEC International. There he traveled the continental United States and beyond to service commercial milking equipment. He loved sharing stories of his travels to Israel, Venezuela, and Mexico. He later took a position at American Family as an engineering systems specialist and retired in 2005. Len became a small plane pilot and was an aviation enthusiast all his life. As a proud EAA member, he looked forward to attending the yearly Oshkosh Fly-In. Other hobbies included computers, hunting, fishing, cooking, travel, and breakfast at Denny’s with friends and acquaintances. He never missed an opportunity to strike up a conversation, tell a joke, or to share a humorous anecdote with anyone. In retirement, he took great pleasure in walking, no matter the weather. Len’s greatest joy was spending time with his eight grandchildren. He attended every sporting event, school play, and concert. When he had the opportunity to take a grandchild out for breakfast or lunch, all the better!
Len leaves behind three children, Joan McGowan Merlin (Curt Merlin), Patrick (Carol) McGowan, Daniel (Debbie) McGowan; and his eight grandchildren, Jenna McGowan, Kate Merlin, Carly McGowan, Molly (Matthew) Killen, Abby McGowan, Aleah McGowan, Sarah McGowan, and Jack McGowan. He is further survived by his former spouse and friend Monica (Jerry) Paffenroth; three siblings, Geraldine Moede, Elizabeth Sundt, and Thomas (Beverly) McGowan; and several nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, Len is preceded in death by his son, Michael McGowan, and daughter, Barbara McGowan; and by his siblings, Clara McGowan, Edward McGowan, and Anna Sjoberg.
Update: A celebration of life gathering will be held at Rex's Innkeeper on Sunday, July 25, 2021 from 12:00 - 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, take a friend out for breakfast.
Len will be remembered by his grandchildren for his humor and his cookies! You have to grow old, but you don’t have to grow up!
Please share your memories on his Tribute Wall.
Winn-Cress Funeral Home
5785 Hwy Q