Roy McGowan, 55, of Portsmouth, RI, devoted husband of ToniLyn (Salvador) McGowan since their marriage in 1995, died at home surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 after a valiant battle against cholangiocarcinoma. Born in Newport, RI, in 1967, he was the son of Jean (Thurston) McGowan and the late George McGowan. Besides his wife, he is survived by his children, Kyle T. McGowan, Katherine L. McGowan, and Benjamin G. McGowan, all of Portsmouth; his mother, Jean; his mother-in-law, Sandy Andrews; father-in-law, Tony Salvador; sister-in-law, Christine Dubois; brother-in-law, David Salvador, and his wife, Shannon; and beloved nieces, nephew, and cousins.
Roy was a 1985 graduate of Middletown High School and earned a B.S. in Business Administration in 1989 and a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 1992, both at Salve Regina University. He began a career in law enforcement at the Portsmouth Police Department and joined the Providence Police Department in 1994, becoming a detective, where he worked until 2014 when he joined the State of Rhode Island Capitol Police Department. His career spanned over 30 years, and he cherished the wonderful friends he made there and in his community.
Roy was a family man, and though his career was long and successful, his proudest and happiest moments were with his family. He was often outside walking the Glen with his family and dog, teaching his boys the game of golf at Wanumetonomy Golf Club, where he had been a member for over 40 years, taking care of his lawn (which resembled a golf course), exchanging a kind word or wave with a neighbor, or throwing a ball to one of his children. A supportive, steady presence everywhere he went – from coaching Portsmouth Little League and girls’ softball to watching his sons play hockey- Roy always encouraged his children and their teammates, and he led by example, which spoke louder than words. He loved his vacations with family and friends to places including Ireland and the Caribbean, but even more, he deeply enjoyed caring for his home and yard where he raised his children. Though Roy was taken from us too soon, we are comforted by his enjoyment of the simple pleasures that make a good and happy life.
We will celebrate Roy’s life at a Mass of Christian Burial, at 10 a.m. in St. Barnabas Church, Portsmouth, on Monday, May 22 and directly afterward, he will be interred at St. Columba Cemetery in Middletown. In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to honor Roy with a donation may send one to The Potter League, 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, RI 02842.