John E. Gowland, of Winter Haven, FL passed away on September 4, 2023 at the age of 97. Born on October 21, 1925, in Buchanan, Michigan, to his parents John Henry and Alma V. Wright Gowland.
During World War II, John served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946, achieving the rank of Sergeant before his honorable discharge. His service was recognized with several medals, including the Good Conduct Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal.
In 1956, John made the significant decision to relocate to the Sunshine State, leaving behind his hometown of Galien, Michigan. He had a successful career in the insurance industry, working as a salesman and adjuster for various companies, including American Fire Casualty and Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company, until his retirement in 1980. A man of strong Christian faith, John was an active member of the Westside Baptist Church in Haines City, Florida, where he found comfort and purpose in his faith, which he shared with those around him.
Outside of work and his faith, John had many interests. He enjoyed metal detecting, traveling, cruising, and was a devoted fan of college football, particularly the Florida Gators. He also loved watching auto racing, like Nascar. John was known for his outgoing and encouraging personality. He had a positive outlook on life and had a gift for boosting the confidence and character of those he interacted with.
He is preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Jacqueline Gowland; and his son, Jan Eric Gowland; and siblings, Joyce Gowland, Betty Gowland, Donna Foster, George Gowland and Mary Gowland. John leaves behind to cherish his memory his loving wife, of 18 years, Violet Gowland; son, John Edward (Patricia) Gowland Jr.; daughter-in-law, Deborah Gowland; grandchildren, Jessica Hall, Jason Gowland, Sean Gowland, Kelley Christie, Meghan Gowland, John Ryan Gowland, Joseph Gowland and Jordan Gowland; great grandchildren, Ruby Gowland, Raina Gowland, Piper Christie, Finley Christie, Iris McKinley, Aspen Navy Gowland, Ryan Gowland, Jordan Gowland Jr., Kai Gowland, Jacob Hall, and Jeremiah Hall.
A visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at 9 am, followed by a funeral service at 10 am. A reception will immediately follow the service, all taking place at Westside Baptist Church. The committal and military service will be at Florida National Cemetery at 2 pm.
In lieu of flowers donation may be made to Westside Baptist Church in Haines City, FL.