A lifetime devoted
to service to others

Iris McGowran MBE with one of her late husband Tom's books''Picture: John Devlin
Iris McGowran MBE with one of her late husband Tom's books''Picture: John Devlin
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A woman who had a lifetime of service to the community has died, aged 90.

Iris Ellen McGowran had close connections with Johnston Press, publishers of The Falkirk Herald, for most of her life.

Born in Dumfries, her family moved to Linlithgow in 1941 when her father, Arthur ‘Pop’ Brown became editor of the Linlithgowshire Gazette.

On leaving school she had a brief career in nursing before joining the Clydesdale Bank. But it was on taking up a job in the commercial department at The Falkirk Herald that she was to meet a man who would change her life.

Tom McGowran had returned to the newspaper after the war and time spent in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, an event which was to influence the couple greatly.

They were married in Craigmailen Church, Linlithgow in December 1947 and their first home was in Union Road, Grangemouth – above the Advertiser office. The couple later moved to Falkirk and in the late 1950s took their family to Avonside in Polmont where they lived until Tom’s retirement in the early 1980s when they moved to Linlithgow.

She was a leading member of many organisations, including the Townswomen’s Guild, Falkirk Inner Wheel and was instrumental in setting up the town’s Citizens Advice Bureau.

Iris was also a member of the area Post Office Advisory Committee for over 40 years, and a member of the Post Office Users Council. Roles which were to earn her an MBE.

She was also secretary/treasurer of the Far East Pensioners of War Association, where she worked alongside Tom until his death in 2001.

Iris is survived by her son Tom, daughters Iris and Fiona – sadly daughter Carol died only a few months ago – and her 18 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as sisters Barbara and Dorothy. Brothers Henry and William predeceased her.

The funeral takes place today at 2pm at St Michael’s Parish Church, Linlithgow, where she had been a devoted member and benefactor, followed by a service at Falkirk Crematorium at 3.15pm.