Joe McGowan

– Class of 1927 –

From Jerry McGowan, Son of Joseph McGowan, Class of ’26:

My father, Joe McGowan grew up in West Philadelphia in a very strong Catholic Family. When it came time for high school, he attended West Catholic his freshman year. His father who owned a bar in Philadelphia then decided to move the family to Atlantic City and open up a bar there. His parents moved the family temporarily to Mays Landing the same time that Holy Spirit was starting the new high school in Atlantic City. My father really wanted to continue his catholic school education so he opted to repeat 9th grade in order to attend the new school. To make this possible, he had to take a train from Mays Landing into Atlantic City to be part of the new school. They eventually relocated to Atlantic City and my father spent all 4 years as part of the first graduating class of Holy Spirit High School in 1926. I remember him telling me many stories about his time there including when he would swim in the ocean out around the Steel Pier. Also, during his junior year, their first football team was undefeated and unscored upon, although I believe they may have tied with ACHS 0-0 that year. He remained an active HSHS alumni, helping to organize many class reunions over the years. I think that it is absolutely incredible that he was able to preserve a lot of his Holy Spirit memorabilia through all these years. Although he died in 1992 at the age of 84, my family continued to keep his Holy Spirit memorabilia as an heirloom. Holy Spirit played such a significant part throughout his life. He loved sharing his many memories with family and friends over the years and he would be very proud to share them with the school he loved so much during its 100th Anniversary.