Page 8 - LGS Today Fall-Winter 2022
P. 8

 Dan Gowan: Service in life; service after death
Dan Gowan did many extraordinary things in his life, yet he always celebrated the accomplishments of everyone else first. He was a husband, father, grandfather, veteran, volunteer, friend, and Dan performed all of these roles with purpose and integrity.
At the age of 20, Dan joined the United States Coast Guard shortly before marrying his wife of 37 years, Ronda. Their first posting was in Kodiak, Alaska, a life Dan thrived in. He loved working in the medical and dental clinics. He became a flight corpsman and was given the opportunity to go to X-ray technician school. He began flight duty, and the happiest Ronda had ever seen Dan was after a successful rescue mission. During his three years in Alaska, Dan delivered babies in the helicopter, rescued fishermen, extricated pilots from
training exercises, and received a medal of honor for a particularly difficult rescue that required his team to use their teeth to pull the victims in, since clothing was too saturated and frozen to hold with their hands.
Dan retired from the Coast Guard, and he and Ronda moved back to Minnesota to raise their growing family. He went to respiratory therapy school and began working at Regions Hospital, where he stayed for more than 13 years. He loved everything about Regions: the variety of experience, the respiratory therapy team, educating and mentoring others. Dan became a grandparent, one of his greatest joys. He always said that his three children and four grandchildren were his best achievements. “Thank you, Dan, for the life we
In 2014, Dan was diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis, a rare disease that eventually took his life. shared, for our children, for the
He left his job at Regions, one of the hardest things he ever had to do. But he became a faithful
volunteer at the eye bank, assisting the technical team with recovery and the administrative highs and lows and for lo”
team with many projects, in particular our beloved Donor Recognition Program.
“Sometimes I want to forget the years he was sick,” said Ronda. “But those years were a big part of who he became, and I happily remember the road trips we took early in his illness and the time we spent watching Twins games together while at Good Samaritan. We tried many treatments that didn’t work, but Dan never lost hope. I learned that hope is relative, and to Dan hope meant that his life had purpose while he was here.”
  ving us all so unconditionally.
 The Gowan Family. Dan is seated in the middle, wearing sunglasses.
  8 Lions Gift of Sight
Dan volunteered his time to Lions Gift of Sight and became an eye donor after his death. Dan’s mother, Joan (pictured above on right), was also an LGS donor ten years earlier.

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