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Betty McGowan, 94

Jan 11, 2015

St. Paul Former Blue Earth resident Betty McGowan died at the Lyngblomsten Care Center in St. Paul on Dec. 31, at age 94. She was the wife of former Blue Earth Post editor Martin McGowan and mother of their nine children.

She was born Elizabeth Nolan in Brainerd and attended Brainerd public schools and St. Cloud State Teacher’s College, where she was class president, homecoming queen, and editor of the St. Cloud Chronicle student newspaper. She taught physical education for one year in Appleton before her marriage, and in addition to raising her nine children, helped with reporting and editing the Appleton Press, particularly while her husband served in the Minnesota State House of Representatives. Upon the sale of the Appleton Press in 1965 the family moved to St. Paul.

After six years in St. Paul, the family moved to Blue Earth in 1971 where she again contributed to reporting and developing advertising for the Blue Earth Post. In retirement, Betty and Martin lived on Pelican Lake, north of Brainerd, and both did reporting for the Lake Region Echo in Pequot Lakes.

Betty earned her master’s degree in gerontology at age 72 from St. Cloud State University, 50 years after her undergraduate degree, writing her thesis on the need for a single payer health insurance system. At the same time, she contributed to the activities of the Minnesota Senior Federation, serving on its state board, and helped develop the Senior Expo trade show for central Minnesota.

In their later years Betty and Marty moved to the Lyngblomsten retirement community in St. Paul, where Betty continued her volunteer activities.

She is survived by eight of her children, Martin III (Pat), of Monroe Township, N.J., Dan (Pam), of St. Paul, Margaret, of Honolulu, Hawaii, Vince (Teresa), of Las Vegas, Nev., Kevin (Pat), of Tucson, Ariz., Brendan of San Francisco, Calif., Maureen Sinkler (Paul) of Minneapolis, and Mike (Joy) of Eagan, 17 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, and her son Sean, of Las Vegas.

A funeral mass was held Tuesday, Jan. 6, at the Newman-Benson Chapel at the Lyngblomsten Care Center in St. Paul.

Memorials are suggested to the Lyngblomsten Foundation.