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Barbara J. (Pelrin) McGowan

February 20, 1948 ~ February 6, 2024 (age 75) 75 Years Old

Barbara McGowan Obituary

Barbara Jane (Pelrin) McGowan died February 6, 2024, two weeks before her 76th birthday. She had been at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center and then went home on hospice to be cared for by her family. She had pancreatic cancer. 

Barbara was predeceased by her parents, Gerard and Gertrude (Ardini) Pelrin, by her sister Maggie Pelrin, brother Larry Pelrin, brother Tom Pelrin, her sister-in-law, Karen Pelrin, wife of Tom Pelrin, and her youngest sister, Nora Pelrin.

Barbara was the oldest of seven brothers and sisters. She leaves behind her husband Dick McGowan, and their children Matt, Megan (husband Jeff DeInnocentis), Danny (wife Mariel Schottenfeld); her grandchildren Connor, Brady, and Hannah DeInnocentis (with whom she shared a birthday), and expecting Rose McGowan; her brothers Jim Pelrin and wife Kim (and sons Casey, Miles, and Cameron) and Jack Pelrin and wife Bonnie; and niece Sarah Pelrin.

Barbara was born February 20, 1948, in Boston. She grew up in Hingham and graduated from Hingham High School in 1966. She became a nun in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity and for several years worked in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she also got a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from the University of Albuquerque. After seven years she left that career, returned to Massachusetts, married, and raised three children.

Barbara was incredibly creative and talented. She was an accomplished seamstress, had every art supply imaginable, and had the culinary skills of a seasoned chef.  Barbara was also thrifty and could always make more with less, so to speak. Her talents rivaled those of Martha Stewart.

She was so generous of her time and being, always giving everything to everyone. Any time away from her family was spent volunteering. Barbara was passionate about doing good and acts of service. For many years she worked for a non-profit, The Multi-Service Center, primarily as coordinator of Generations Linked, a program that brought school aged children into nursing homes.  She went on to create the R.O.S.E. project, the mission of which was to collect and distribute everyday necessities to local elderly in need. She also worked with a safety-first campaign. Her efforts were recognized by the United Way, who named her a Community Builders Fellow.

Barbara lived for her family. When her children were young she was in the schools daily, a part of every committee and organization that needed a parent volunteer. She also indulged them in their need for a pet, sneaking in a new cat or dog or bird or fish or gerbil when dad was at work! Her house was most certainly a home, always ready for company with a fresh pot of coffee brewing. She was a faithful wife and mother and daily prepared delicious suppers and lunches right up until her last visit to the hospital. Her daughter, Megan, was her best friend, and whenever “Meggie” visited with the grandkids (which was often) Barbara had freshly baked cookies for them. Being a grandmother brought her so much joy; she knew it to be her job to “spoil them rotten.”

Barbara was married for 43 years and lived in Leominster for 42 years. Barbara is loved by her husband, children, and grandchildren and will be deeply missed by them all. 

A private funeral will be held.

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