Obituary - Wilson Leroy McGowan

A funeral for Wilson Leroy McGowan, 93, a Carson City resident and lifetime Nevada resident will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Fitzhenry's Chapel of Faith.

Mr. McGowan died Sept. 10, 2001 at his home. He was born July 26, 1908, in Yerington to John and Elizabeth Wilson McGowan. He was born and raised on a large ranch 12 miles south of Yerington, sometimes referred to as Missouri Flat.

He graduated from Yerington High School and attended Health's Business College for two years in San Francisco.

He married Mae Morrison Nov. 9, 1980 in Carson City.

Mr. McGowan was a rancher. He was elected to the Nevada State Senate from Pershing County in 1957 and served for 10 years. In 1967, he was elected as State Controller and held that office until 1984. He was appointed to the Nevada State Retirement Board by Gov. Robert List.

He became a member of Hope Lodge 229 Masonic Lodge in Yerington in 1929 and became Master of the Lodge in 1934. He received his 70-year pin in 2000. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of the Shrine-Kerak Temple in Reno. He was a member and Past Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star in Yerington.

Mr. McGowan was inducted into the Nevada Hall of Fame in 1999. He was a member of and Past President of the Lyon County Farm Bureau and a member of the Eagles of Lovelock, Lions Club of Carson City, Nevada State Legislative Commission, the Nevada State Senate Committee on Financial Affairs and the Western State Committee on Agriculture and Public Lands.

Assemblyman Joe Dini, D-Yerington, described McGowan as "a dedicated public servant and a personal friend."

"Everybody looked up to Wilson," he said.

Mike O'Callaghan, who was governor while McGowan was controller, described him as "one of the finest public servants I've known."

"He was trustworthy both as controller and in the Senate," he said.

He was preceded in death by his first wife Marie in January 1980 and daughter Molly Marie McGowan Torvik in 1979.

Among his survivors are his wife, Mae, of Carson City; daughter Donna Dericco, of Fallon; stepdaughter Barbara Jackson, of Forestville, Calif.; sister Katherine Buchanan, of Lake Tahoe; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.

Burial will be at Masonic Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Reno.

Memorial contributions may be made to Shriners Crippled Children's Hospital in San Francisco.

FitzHenry's Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.


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