Cover photo for Nancy Gowan's Obituary
1943 Nancy 2019

Nancy Gowan

January 19, 1943 — October 21, 2019

Nancy Kathleen Gowan was born January 19, 1943, in Oakland, California to Gordon and Sadie (Ford) Smith. Upon graduation, Nancy was a runway model in Oakland and San Jose often stopping traffic on many streets in town. Growing up Nancy enjoyed visiting from California and exploring the Big Hole Valley with her Special Cousin Sandra Lapham (Jackson, Montana) and doing all the things mischevious little girls will do. Over the years they maintained their friendship and solving world problems over the phone. Nancy loved the friends she made as she settled down and had a daughter (Tami Paulsen). Opportunities surfaced and they moved to Dillon, Montana to join her mother, father and grandmother. She especially enjoyed having lunch with her grandmother Bab Ford (from Jackson and Dillon, Montana) in Dillon every week in her apartment above the State Bank. Upon returning, Nancy worked in a local department store, Eliels, in Dillon, Montana, until opportunity smiled again and she was able to start as a coding clerk on the Beaverhead National Forest, working on the Forest Plan. Her expertise in dealing with people especially contencious ones was recognized early on and Nancy moved up to the Administration Support Specialist for the Beaverhead National Forest. She worked on the Selway District of the Nez Perce National before finally settling down in Bozeman, Montana as the Support Services Supervisor on the Gallatin National Forest. She to retire in 2004 due to medical complications from diabetes. Nancy parlayed her modeling talents as a Style consultant to many of the Dillon Rodeo Queen contestants. Nancy met, in 1981 and eventually married Roger Gowan in 1984. Some of her fondest memories is standing outside on a cold snowy November evening and hearing the geese fly overhead honking as they heading south for the winter. Initially she was concerned and wondered if something had escaped from Jurrassic Park. She grew to look forward to seeing and hearing those flights of geese annually. Another story Nancy enjoyed telling is about the first meal Roger ever cooked for her. Apparently Roger's dog was harrassed by a porcupine. The dog had alerted Roger of the trespasser which Roger promply dispatched. Nancy was due to visit for dinner the next nite. He skinned it out and prepared a delicous repast with all the trimmings only telling her after the meal was complete that it was roasted porcupine. That was a good laugh especially for a “city girl” not use to that type of wildgame fare. A story shared in frontliners workshops was how a caller called the the Gallatin switchboard and indicated he wanted to shoot the president. Being her charming self Nancy told him she wanted to hear what he had to say, but ask for a call back number in case they got cut off. Nancy listened and thanked him for his information, contacted Forest law enforcement who promptly secured him. Nancy was proud of her daughter's accomplishments as NEPA specialist for the Forest Service, but prouder still of the accomplishmets of her grandson Gordon Brewer and granddaughter Molly Brewer. Gordon went to Iraq and served his country, came back, got his degree and is now working for a city government in Texas. Molly graduated in Economics from Montana State University aand is working for a contactor on aircraft systems. Nancy fought an almost 40 year battle with diabetes. she lost the final battle on October 21, 2019 in Bozeman, Montana. She met her parents and (Kona), her cat of 22 years, at the Sky Bridge and had dinner that night in her cabin in the woods. She is survived by husband Roger Gowan, her daughter Tami Paulsen (Larry Kent), grandson Gordon Brewer (Megan Brewer), granddaughter Molly Brewer, brother Gordon A. Smith (Michelle Smith), and ex son-in-law Ryan Brewer (Judy Klein). She is preceded in death by her parents Gordon and Sadie (Ford) Smith. Viewing will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on October 28,2019 at Brundage Funeral Home. Services will be in Dillon, Montana at 1030 AM October 29, 2019 at the Brundage Funeral Home. Burial will be in Mountain View Cemetery in Dillon, Montana. Family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the National Diabetes Foundation, Shriners Hospitals, or National Arbor Day “Plant A Tree” Foundation.
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