Phil Gowan

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Phil Gowan

Phil Gowan

Phillip Alan Gowan, 65, a native of Corsicana and descendant of early settlers in the Powell/Chatfield and Bazette/Round Prairie areas, passed away at Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.
He was born in Corsicana on Oct. 17, 1952, the only child of Theodore Phillip "Ted" Gowan and Julia Thedia "Judy" Morris Gowan. He attended Corsicana public schools Travis and Drane and was a member of the first class to graduate from the "new" Corsicana High School in the class of 1971, where he was an officer in the National Honor Society and held officer positions with the Student Council. He loved politics even then. He particularly enjoyed participating in the Spanish Club, and their travels, trips to Mexico, and spoke Spanish like it was his native tongue. He participated in two of the Dallas Morning News spelling bees, winning one of them.
In the seventh grade, Phil became curious about the Island of Tristan da Cunha when he saw an article in the National Geographic as part of a school assignment. He became a pen pal and close friend of Dereck Rogers on the Island and maintained contact with him until his death. In the beginning letters sometimes took six months to exchange. Derek visited the United States several times and Phil made two trips to Tristan.
He attended Navarro College, received a degree in Spanish from Howard Payne University and went back to get another degree and a Masters degree in business, also from Howard Payne.
Even as a young child, Phil kept a camera handy, loved dogs and was interested in people. Phil was a master at locating people, loved genealogy, travel, politics ultra conservative, classical and country music, good food especially desserts with fudge being a favorite! He was a devout Methodist and served as a leader of youth group and Sunday school teacher in Tennessee.
Phil was a world-renowned Titanic historian and considered one of two leading experts in the entire world. He traveled to four continents to research survivors and interviewed survivors and their descendants and published articles in newspapers in the United States and Europe, as well as doing presentations at Titanic Historical Society, World Class Titanic Exhibition in Bristol and Bradford England. He was interviewed by National Geographic and numerous media sources worldwide. After retirement, he consulted with The Titanic Exhibit in Branson, Missouri and designed the passenger ticket and wrote the information for all the souls from the Titanic listed on the tickets.
Phil's memory was second to none and his stories will be remembered by his friends on six continents.
Phil started work at Taco Bell as a teenager and retired from Bell South Mobility in November 2002, after living in several states and 25 years of service.
Phil was a survivor of rheumatic fever as a child, thyroid cancer, heart valve replacement, and lived over 65 months with a less than six month prognosis of Carcinoid Neuroendocrine cancer. Cancer did not take his life, his heart just wore out. The recent stress on his heart proved to be too much for him.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a special aunt, Zetta.
He is survived by his beloved dog, Lujza Blaha, a large group of Morris and Gowan cousins and a magnitude of friends worldwide. Phil had a vast array of friends, many of whom were lifetime friends and one special friend, Patti Chancelor Cooper and her son , Zack and his wife Collen Cooper. He is also survived by his 50-year pen pal and close friend in Tristan da Cunha, Dereck Rogers and his wife, Hiliary, and their daughter (whom Phil considered his niece), Emma Swain and husband, Nicky and their children, Ryan Phillip and Tyler.
Funeral service will be conducted by Rev. Dr. Randall B. Bush of Jackson, Tennessee at The First United Methodist Church in Corsicana at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 5, 2018. The service will be followed by Graveside at New Chatfield Cemetery. Afterwards, a reception with light refreshments will be held at the United Methodist Church in Chatfield. Refreshments provided by a group of friends from his Class of 1971.
Pallbearers will be Larry Christie of Kerens; Michael Cohen of Denton; Jerry Fortenberry, Brandon, Mississippi; David Parnell, Brentwood, Tennessee; Tim Trower, Springfield, Missouri; and Hughes Underdahl, Palm Desert, California.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Dereck Rogers, Tristan da Cunha; Kalman Tanito, Budapest, Hungary; Geoff Whitfield, Liverpool, England; Mark Wiley of Corsicana; The Islanders of Tristan da Cunha; Buck Truelove of Corsicana; Zane Wilchar of Kerens; Zack Cooper of Odessa; Tyler Walton, Van Couver, British Columbia; Wade Gowan, Memphis, Tennesse.
Arrangements by Paschal Funeral Home, (Gene Bullard, director, Class of '71) Kerens, Texas.
Published on May 3, 2018
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