John Meehan McGowan II peacefully passed away on September 22, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona, surrounded by his friends. He was born on February 16, 1924, in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. John was, and was known as, a Farmer, Lawyer, Statesman and, most of all, Philanthropist. John attended Gulfport Military Academy in Mississippi, and then graduated from Vanderbilt University. He began his studies of law at the University of Virginia, but due to eye surgery that required a lengthy period of recuperation, he completed his study of law at the University of Arizona from which he received his Juris Doctor degree in 1959. John served on the Washington, D.C., staff of Arizona Congressman John J. Rhodes Sr. and the staff of Arizona Governor Paul Fannin. He also was Chief of Staff for Arizona Attorney General Gary Nelson. Later, he specialized in government relations for the interests of several banks and other financial institutions. Maintaining his interests in farming and politics, John spent his later years traveling between Phoenix and Arkansas, always making sure to keep up on both. John also was a devoted member of the Knights of Columbus for more than 50 years, a member of the Phoenix Art Museum's Men's Art Council, one of the founding members of the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room in Phoenix, and an active member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish in Phoenix. John was preceded in death by his brothers Calvin McGowan and James McGowan. He is survived by nieces, and nephews; Ann (Curtis) Schooler of College Station, Texas, Calvin (Cora) McGowan of San Angelo, Texas, Elizabeth (Jim) Blount of Edmond, Okla., Jane (Fred) Brigman of San Angelo, Texas, James (Joyce) McGowan of Fayetteville, Mary Sue (Sta) Ferguson of Des Arc, John McGowan II of Fayetteville, and Robert McGowan of Brinkley. Visitation will be Friday, September 30 from 6-7 p.m., with Rosary at 7 p.m. at Bob Neal & Sons Funeral Home Chapel-Brinkley. Funeral Mass will be 10 a.m., Saturday, October 1 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at Brinkley. Burial will follow at Cotton Plant Cemetery, where his family began their farming and dry-goods businesses in 1843. You may sign the guestbook at www.bobnealandsons.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in John's memory to St. Vincent de Paul, 420 West Watkins Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85003, or to a charity of your choice.
Published September 30, 2016