Cover photo for Richard Dean Gowan's Obituary
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Richard Dean Gowan

February 2, 1935 — March 15, 2024

Cherokee, Iowa

Richard Dean Gowan

Richard Dean Gowan, age 89 of Cherokee, IA, passed away Friday, March 15, 2024, at Cherokee Specialty Care in Cherokee, IA. Funeral graveside services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at Oak Hill Cemetery in Cherokee, IA. The Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee, IA is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Richard Gowan was born in Cleghorn February 2, 1935. He was valedictorian of his high school class in 1953 and earned highest honors summa cum laude and ranked first in his class at the University of South Dakota, where he received both a B.A. and M.A. in English. He completed his education at the University of Chicago with a D.D. in Theology and Literature, and M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Christianity.

Meanwhile he also worked in radio at KUSD, with inner city youth in Chicago and Indianapolis, and in

archaeology three summers in Israel.

He taught 19 years in several colleges and universities in History, Humanities, English, and Religion. From 1981 to 1995 he worked as a professional actor in Florida, appearing in 3,441 performances of 68

productions. Upon retirement he moved to Cherokee, IA.

Richard loved sports, especially baseball, and enjoyed keeping stats on the games he watched. He loved cats and had 11 cats throughout his life, and he loved books. He had a collection of 2,500 books of every genre. Richard was the cool, fun uncle to his niece and nephews because he played with them on his visits. He had seen all the latest movies and took them to the store to buy records. Richard’s favorite activity in retirement was his weekly trip to the Bookvine bookstore, chatting with the bookstore ladies who became his greatest friends.

On Friday, March 15, 2024, Richard passed away at Cherokee Specialty Care in Cherokee, IA, at the age of 89. Burial will take place at Oak Hill Cemetery. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Lucile (Woodcock) Gowan; brother, Walter (Lois) Gowan; nephew, Jeff Gowan; and sister-in-law Darlene Gowan.

He is survived by his brother, Donald Gowan; niece, Luann (Matt) Olsen; nephews, Jack (Ruth) Gowan and Doug (Marie) Gowan; great-nephews, Alen Gowan, Peter Olsen, and Tom (Kelsie) Olsen; great- great-nieces and nephews, Eloise, Clyde, and Sylvia; along with other relatives and friends.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Dean Gowan, please visit our flower store.


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