John J. McGowan III

Driven by the need to serve, John J. McGowan III enrolled in the criminal justice program at Philadelphia Textile University. In 1974, he began his law enforcement career with the Lower Moreland Police Department. John worked in the Patrol and Investigation Division before retiring in 1992 as a patrol sergeant. During his tenure at Lower Moreland, John graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and furthered his education by earning a master’s degree in criminal justice from St. Joseph’s University.

Following his retirement from Lower Moreland, John became the police chief and public safety director for East Norriton Township, a position he held until his untimely passing on June 18th, 2010.  In addition to his accomplished career as chief of police, John served as past president of the Montgomery County Police Chiefs’ Association and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association.  John was an academic instructor in the Criminal Justice Program at Montgomery County Community College. 

John also was a motivating force, and worked closely with Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman and Executive Director Abbie Newman, to establish Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center.  The center recently celebrated its first anniversary in October of 2010 and Mission Kids honored John by dedicating “The Chief’s Room” in his memory.

John’s dedication to law enforcement can be rivaled only by his dedication to his family.  He enjoyed thirty-seven wonderful years of marriage with the love of his life, Karen.  He loved spending time with sons John J. IV and wife Kimberly, Scott and wife Malissa. His grandchildren Jack and Finn would always bring a smile to “Poppy’s” face.  Whether it was simple family dinners or summer vacations, John was “at home” with his family.  He was a caring son to his parents, John J. II and Theresa, and a loving, protective big brother to his three sisters: Debbie, Anita, and Lisa.

With all the time spent with his work and his family, John was a man of few hobbies.  Actually, one hobby.  He loved riding his Harley.  He was a member of the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club – Chapter 22. While his life was cut short by a motorcycle accident, John passed doing something he loved.  He logged many miles on his bike.  He logged even more miles in his life.  He touched so many people during his lifetime.  He leaves behind so many who felt the depth of his love and support.  We hope that the foundation carries on his legacy for years to come.