VIRGINIA PETERSON MCGOWAN

Posted On March 27th, 2011 -

VIRGINIA PETERSON MCGOWAN

Virginia Peterson McGowan, 94, passed away in Honolulu. She had a kind, beautiful, soul and was a loving wife, mother, sister and aunt. She was born in Dayton, Iowa and was financially independent, and on her own, from the time she left home at 17 after high school graduation. She worked while putting herself through business college and still managed to save money to send home to help with the educations of some of her 8 siblings. During World War II, she got her pilot’s license so she could take advantage of a civil aeronautics program looking for female pilots to fly domestic cargo. She was accepted into the program as a pilot but the program was discontinued. She went on to become the secretary for the Secretary of State, Edward R. Stettinius. She was in the first group of civilians sent to work in Germany after V-E day. Her career advanced and she became a buyer of pulp and paper for the Federal government, a job which was based in Paris. In Paris, she met her husband, John, who was in the diplomatic corps. They married in Paris and lived in Europe for 17 years; in Yugoslavia, Paris, and Germany where her child, Mary, was born. They came to Hawaii in 1968 when John was assigned as an adviser to the Commander in Chief for the Pacific Command (cincpac). In Hawaii, Virginia became a realtor and then a broker and eventually opened her own business, Epic Realty. She was an amazing woman in many respects. She was gracious, sensitive, competent, and had a great sense of humor. The above photo was taken on her 94th birthday. She is survived by her daughter, hanai daughters, and numerous nieces and nephews. Services will be held at Punchbowl on March 30 at 11:30.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran