Thomas Wesley McGowen, the son of the late Willie and Janie Craft McGowen, was born in Dudley on July 27, 1923 and died at the Puxico Nursing Center in Puxico on Oct. 3, 2001, at the age of 78.
Mr. McGowen had lived all his life in the Puxico area. He was a retired bus driver and custodian, and had worked for the Puxico public schools for 32 years. He was a member of the Church of Christ in Puxico, the VFW Post #7822 in Puxico and a life member of of the DAV. In 1999 he was inducted into the Southeast Missouri Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. He was a veteran of the United States Army and had served in the European, African and Eastern Theaters, receiving the Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and three overseas bars.
On June 15, 1946 he was united in marriage to Evalee Maddox in Poplar Bluff, she survives of the home in Puxico. Besides his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Vicki Barnfield and Robin Martinez, both of Puxico; one son, Rick McGowen of Puxico; by five grandsons; by three step-grandchildren; by two great-grandsons; by seven step great-grandchildren; and by one brother, Cecil McGowen of Puxico. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by five brothers and two sisters.
Visitation will be held at the Watkins & Sons Funeral Home in Puxico on Thursday, Oct. 4 after 6 p.m. A VFW service will be held at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Funeral services will be conducted on Friday, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. in the Watkins & Sons Chapel with Bro. Terry Stockman of Sikeston officiating. Interment will follow in the Rock Hill Cemetery near Puxico with Watkins & Sons Funeral Service of Puxico in charge of all arrangements.