Ruth E. (Bell) McGowan of Millerstown and formerly of Marysville went to be with the Lord on Saturday, July 3, 2021 while surrounded by her loving family at Holy Spirit Hospital.
She was the youngest of ten children born to Elmer G. and Rebecca M. (Yocum) Bell on August 13, 1932 in the village of Rye. She was a 1950 graduate of Newport High School. Her first job was as a Bell Telephone switchboard operator.
She married her sweetheart, Gerald (Jerry) McGowan following his draft into the U.S. Army, during which time they briefly moved and lived in Leesport, Louisiana and would return to begin raising their family in Marysville. She became very active in the Ladies Auxiliary of the Wesley United Methodist Church and many local community events. She served on the 1966 Marysville Centennial Committee making many costumes for the event. She was a Den Mother for Cub Scout Pack 56 and assisted with the local Brownie/Girl Scout Troop.
For many years, she assisted her husband with his insurance business. She also sold Studio Girl Cosmetics and briefly owned her own greenery shop in Millerstown. She was a member of the Millerstown United Methodist Church.
She enjoyed taking her kids trout fishing, trips to Gettysburg, camping, family trips to Knoebels, and summer vacations to Ocean City, Maryland, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts (where she hoped to live someday).
She was an avid bird watcher and had many hobbies including collecting chickens, cooking, baking, canning, gardening, reading, writing stories, painting, sewing, and even an occasional hunting excursion. Her favorite hobby was painting ceramics that she loved giving as gifts. She also enjoyed watching the Phillies and gathering with family to watch NASCAR. In her spare time, she enjoyed watching her shows especially The Waltons.
She loved and owned many cats, dogs, and other animals which included Charlie the goat, Myrtle the chicken, Dusty the pony, and her most beloved pups, Lulu, Chi Chi, Lady, and Pup Dog as well as her very last pet, Sophie the cat.
Surviving are four children: Reta Walker (Dave) Camp Hill, Michael McGowan (Kim) Duncannon, Cathy Allen (Jim) Marysville, Jerry McGowan (Brenda) New Cumberland; four grandchildren: Michael McGowan (Michelle) Harrisburg, Ashley McGowan of Newport, Cassondra Haldeman (Matt) Harrisburg, Amber Coon (Isaac) New York, and step-grandchild, Lennon Glass (Catherine) Delaware; great-grandchildren: Evelyn, Autumn, Grayson, Mollie, Amelia, Benjamin, Clara, and step-great-grandchild, Frank.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jerry, of 65 years and her nine siblings and their spouses: George, Gerald, Blair, Roy, Chester, Ellis Bell, Mary Mongold, Martha McGowan, and Janet Heisey.
Services will be held Tuesday, July 13 from the David Myers Funeral Home with a viewing from 1 PM until the service at 2 PM. Burial will follow in the Wrights Church Cemetery, Millerstown.
In lieu of flowers, contributions are requested to the funeral home to assist with funeral expenses.