Robert E. “Bob” McGovern, 92, well known and respected resident of Canton, passed away peacefully, Monday evening Aug. 12, 2019, at the Guthrie Troy Community Hospital following a period of declining health.
Robert Emmett was the youngest of seven children born to the late James and Lucy (Kennedy) McGovern. As a youngster, Bob grew up in his beloved Toytown area of North Towanda, swimming in the Susquehanna and being fascinated with the railroad that ran through the little community where his father worked.
He attended the Towanda Schools and at the age of 17 joined the war effort just before graduating in 1945. Bob, a very humble man, was extremely proud to be a WWII Navy veteran. He served on the USS Indiana Battleship and was part of the first ship of three to bombard homeland Japan.
After the war, Bob returned home to Towanda and later began employment with Penelec in 1959. It was there he became a talented electrician and would spend over 30 years serving as a devoted lineman, until his retirement in 1990. In earlier years, Bob and his wife, Ellen moved to Canton to make their home. He can be remembered as having his own barber shop in his home, which he operated nights after work as well as weekends. Bob was a very likable man and served as a bartender for the former Lantern Tavern in Canton for several years.
On May 16, 1953, Robert married the former Ellen Chamberlain and they shared 60 years of marriage before her passing on Sept. 26, 2012. In addition to Ellen, Bob was predeceased by his siblings, Jill (and Nip) Dunn, Jack (and Bea), James “Jimmy” (and Grace), Thomas “Tommy” and infant twins, Phillip and Paul McGovern.
Together, Bob and Ellen have two children, Robert “Rick” (and Nancy) McGovern of Manlius, New York, and Janet Brubaker of Cordele, Georgia; four grandchildren, Ryan (and Carolyn) McGovern of Syracuse, New York, Meghan McGovern of Cortland, New York, Lt. Robert “Robbie” (and Taylor) Brubaker of Jacksonville, Florida; Robbie is serving on the USS Leyte Gulf currently deployed in the Persian Gulf, Deanna Brubaker of Buffalo, New York; three great-grandchildren, Lincoln, Wylla and Dominic; a sister-in-law, Pat McGovern of Towanda; several very special nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends.
Robert was a member of Towanda’s Christ Episcopal Church, the Wheel Inn of Roaring Branch and the American Legion Towanda Post 49 where he was a life member and part of their “Last Man’s Club.” He was also a life member of the Canton Moose Lodge No. 429.
In early years, Bob was involved as a Boy Scout Leader, an active member of the Canton Fire Department and enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, and camping. He also enjoyed boating and owned his own boat christened, “USS Toytown.”
Everyone that knew Bob knew he loved to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle. He went on numerous rides and riding venues with his friends throughout the country side and occasionally to see his daughter in Georgia and son near Syracuse, New York. The one ride Bob was noted for was the Big Brothers and Big Sisters ride in Towanda. He, family and friends would ride every year with Bob bringing home several “oldest rider” trophies. He continued this tradition until his health no longer permitted and received recognition from the organization for his many years of loyal support. Bob had several talents, one being a gifted woodworker. He made beautiful handcrafted items especially grandfather and grandmother clocks. Bob used his electrician skills wiring numerous structures for family and friends throughout the community, one being the Pepper Funeral Home in 1995. Bob continued to assist at the funeral home for over 20 years of respected and appreciated service to our area communities. To know Bob was to love Bob. He was a very quiet man with a quick wit; always able to get an unexpected laugh. He often had a story, true or not, that would be your guess. The thing that was very special about Robert McGovern, if you ever needed anything, day or night, Bob was there.
The family invites friends to attend a viewing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at Pepper Funeral Home and Cremation Facility, 578 Springbrook Drive, Canton. A graveside service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Towanda with military honors accorded.
In Mr. Robert E. McGovern’s memory please consider a memorial in his name to the charity he supported, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, 10 Park St. Ste. 2, Towanda, PA 18848, or your local chapter of the American Heart Association.
Please share memories and condolences to www.pepperfunealhomes.com.