JoAnne M. McGowan, 66

JoAnne M. McGowan, 66, of Reston, Va., and South Bethany, Del., passed away on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes, Del. She was born in New York City, N.Y., on May 12, 1950, daughter of the late John Murphy and Eleanor (Tierney) Murphy.

McGowan and her family settled in Vienna, Va., when she was 9. McGowan retired from the Department of Transportation in 2005.

She loved spending time in South Bethany and was looking forward to living fulltime at the beach. She was instrumental in helping her husband with his photography with two important organizations in the beach community, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition’s Bear Trap Dunes Pink Classic for the past 10 years and also Operation SEAs the Day for the last four years.

McGowan will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, sister and friend who always put others first.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister, Maureen Murray. She is survived by her loving husband of 45 years, Michael F. McGowan; a son, Michael Murphy McGowan of Leesburg, Va.; and six siblings, John “Jack” Murphy of Long Beach, Calif., Lynn Sullivan and her husband, George, of Millsboro, Del., Suzanne Murphy and her partner, Michael Nordberg, of San Francisco, Calif., Tom Murphy of New Zealand, Lorie Murphy and her partner, Doug Neal, of Fairfax, Va., and Kathleen Murphy of Fairfax.

A visitation was scheduled for March 1, 2017, at Melson Funeral Services in Ocean View, Del., with a Mass of Christian Burial planned March 2 at St. Ann Catholic Church, Bethany Beach, Del. Entombment was to follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Dagsboro, Del. The family suggested memorial contributions to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition; 111 W. 11th Street, Suite 3; Wilmington, DE 19801. Condolences may be sent online at