Peter C. McGowan, age 56, died on March 30, 2019 surrounded by his family at the home of his sister Katie in Ocean Pines, MD after being recently diagnosed with Prion Disease (CJD sporadic). Peter is survived by his parents Kathleen & Charles McGowan of Mattapoisett, MA and Venice FL; his daughter Phoebe Sheehan of Loudonville, NY; sister Kathleen McGowan Emche, her husband James and nephew Jake and niece Kathleen of Ocean Pines, MD; sister Marya McGowan Dunham, her husband John and niece Elizabeth and nephew Matthew of Alexandria, VA; sister Kerry McGowan McNulty, her husband Brian and nieces Kate and Izzy of Duxbury, MA; and sister Betsy McGowan Friedman, her husband Ted and nieces Caroline and Addison of Barrington, RI as well as many uncles, aunts and cousins.
Peter graduated from Portsmouth Abbey School in RI and received his bachelor’s degree from Roanoke College in VA. After college, Peter spent many years living and working in Colorado skiing in the winter and spending summers on Martha’s Vineyard enjoying all things water related. He and his friends coined their lifestyle back in those early days, “The Pro Leisure Tour” and according to his posse of adoring friends, he led this group on many spirited and wild adventures over the years.
Always having had an interest in photography, Peter went back to school to study it more formally and then embarked on a successful career in the mid 90’s as a freelanceadvertising and editorial sports, marine, yachting and outdoor action photographer. Known for having a very good eye and being able to capture a unique point of view, Peter’s photos were always distinct and innovative. One of his good friends described his work best, “the best sailors in the world were stoked to see him because they knew they were going to be in a funky, wavy, bubbly shot in a magazine”.
“Sweet Pete” as he was often referred to by his large group of friends, was a larger-than-life personality in many circles. Peter was known far and wide as an enigmatic, persuasive, adventurous and often-times charmingly infuriating friend who liked to be known as the “disruptor”. Peter was never afraid to try new things and always wanted to bring others along for the ride. One of the unique things about Peter was his willingness and excitement to share his experiences and interests with those around him, especially the next generation. Many benefitted from his ability to inspire them to love the ocean and other fun activities through his mentorship. He was fearless in his pursuit of his life’s passions, his photography, his love of the outdoors on the water and above all else, his absolute adoration and pride in being Phoebe’s father.
Peter’s motto in life was to play more and work less and he was able to successfully blend the two together and always make life an adventure for himself and those fortunate enough to be around him.
Afuneral mass and celebration of Peter’s life will be held in Mattapoisett, MA sometime in early summer.
A donation in his memory may be made to: https://cjdfoundation.org/donate