US Navy
Official Obituary of

James Irvin McKowan

November 15, 1931 ~ March 21, 2024 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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James McKowan Obituary

James (Jim) Irvin McKowan, loving husband, devoted father, dedicated grandfather and great-grandfather, went to be with the Lord on March 21, 2024. Jim was 92 years old.

Jim was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania to parents William and Edith McKowan along with his sisters Shirley and Jean. Jim and his sisters grew up in Pitcarin, PA.

Jim became interested in cars as a young teenager while working with his dad, who was a mechanic. He began working for the same company as his dad at an early age. The company wanted Jim to drive, so his dad helped him get his driver’s license early at age 15, and that became Jim’s first full time job which he continued through high school.

Jim served on the Submarine USS Runner as a Machinist Mate 1st Class in the United States Navy, serving during the Korean War. He was awarded an honorable discharge in February 1955 and received a National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. He worked as a diesel mechanic at various trucking companies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona, Texas and North Carolina and was later a co-owner of A-1 Trucking in North Carolina. After retirement, he soon went back to work as a security guard. He instilled his steadfast work ethic in his daughters. He would often remind them “a job worth doing is worth doing right” and if that didn’t get the point across his advice was “good enough seldom is!”

Jim met the love of his life, Pat while working at Westinghouse in Ohio. Along with their three daughters, Jim and Pat enjoyed traveling across the U.S. Jim and Pat visited 49 states together. While in Arizona, Jim and Pat would take rides on his Honda Goldwing motorcycle, enjoying the beauty of Arizona.  Jim always considered his dogs part of the family, and he had imaginative names for the beloved family pets Champ I, Champ II, Benny I , Benny II and Benny III.

The family game was Pinochle. Playing cards provided a time to share “life’s happenings” developing a strong bond between Jim, Pat and the girls. Jim collected model cars and he loved to share details about the cars with his grandchildren, which was one way he strengthened his relationships with them.

Upon retirement, Jim expanded his woodworking skills and had an impressive woodworking shop. While woodworking was a hobby, crafting his skill was yet another way he demonstrated how much he valued a job well done. Over the years his family was lovingly gifted with his incredible handmade works that he designed and built for each of them. These gifts of art included desks, blanket and toy chests, curio cabinets, shelves, standing mirrors and so many more magnificent works.

Jim is survived by his wife, Patricia (Pat), three daughters, Dianna Nordman and her husband Karl, Kim Wandle, Mary Frazier and her husband Marty. Jim and Pat have seven grandchildren Scott Doss (Monica), Siobhan Ash (Cody), David Bohannon, Carrie Morales (Jonathan), Matthew Frazier, Christina Chapman (Seth) and Kathleen Frazier along with six great grandchildren Sidney, Hunter, Samantha, Gavin, Finley and Theodore. Jim had a strong and loving bond with his nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents William and Edith McKowan, and his sisters Shirley Durstine and Jean Iddings.

Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Baptist Church, PO Box 9, Trinity, NC 27360, where Jim was a dedicated and long-term member. The family would like to express their appreciation to Pastor Morris Little of Trinity Baptist Church and to Hospice of the Piedmont for their compassionate care.

Funeral services will be conducted at 4:00 PM Thursday, March 28, 2024,at Trinity Baptist Church in Trinity, NC. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 3:00 PM until 3:45 PM. Burial will be held at the National Veteran’s Cemetery in Salisbury, North Carolina on Friday, March 29, 2024.  

Wright Funerals-Cremations, Archdale is in charge of arrangements.

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Visitation Prior to the Service
March 28, 2024

3:00 PM to 3:45 PM
Trinity Baptist Church
6499 NC Hwy. 62
Trinity, NC 27370

Funeral Service
March 28, 2024

4:00 PM
Trinity Baptist Church
6499 NC Hwy. 62
Trinity, NC 27370


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