Photography

Sylvia Beatrice McGowan

January 23, 1942 ~ May 21, 2020 (age 78)

Obituary

Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Proverbs 31:29-31

 

On Thursday, May 21, 2020, Sylvia Beatrice McGowan, a loving mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, niece, cousin and friend, passed away at the age of 78.

She was born on January 23, 1942, in Chicago, IL, the daughter of the late Edwin and Jean Brookens. She married Robert McGowan Sr. and raised a son, Robert Jr., and a daughter, Edith Renee. After his passing, she met her life partner William Maurice Hampton whom she loved and cared for until he succumbed to his battle with cancer.

Sylvia had a passion for hairdressing, a skill that she utilized throughout her life following in her mother’s footsteps. She attended Madam C J Walker’s beauty school in Chicago. She moved on to be an operator at Illinois Bell before settling into her position as a Payroll Supervisor at Chicago City Colleges until her retirement, where she was well-known and admired. Her character-defining traits were her earnestness, generosity, and spunk. Everyone who came into contact with her was better for it.

She loved spending time with her family, home improvement shows, antiques (or as she would call it bricky-bracky), Harley Davidson motorcycles and her big red truck, and her Three Rivers home. She taught us to be patient, kind, and to stop and smell the roses by showing us what it means to find joy in the simple things. Her unintentional humor, famous sayings such as “have you lost it”, and her pure love for all who came into contact with her will live on in us forever. She was a strong, determined, and fiercely independent woman. We will miss her every day.

She leaves her son, Robert and Brenda (Bates) McGowan, her sister Vesta (Brookens) Thompson, her brother Patrick and Regina Brookens, her sister in law Vera (Edmerson) Brookens, her grandchildren; David Bates, Naja, Nia, and Maya McGowan; Asia and Imani Rivers, Patric and Jamie (Rivers) Germay, her son in law James and Laura (Anderson) Rivers, 5 great-grandchildren, her aunt, Vesta Jamison and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Edwin and Earline (Walker) Brookens and Vesta (Carr) Noble, her parents, Edwin M., Sr. and Jean (Noble) Brookens; her brother, Edwin M.Jr.; her daughter Edith (McGowan) Rivers. Her companion of many years, William (Hamp) Hampton. Aunts and uncles: Irvin and Edna (Carr) Archey, Jerry Carr, Lillian Noble, Dolores (Noble) Goux, Shirley Noble, Sherwood and Patricia (Noble) Mullins. Memorial service will be held at a later date. Call or email Robert and Brenda McGowan at r.mcgowan19631@gmail.com for details.

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