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Margaret McGowan Mahan ’24

A picture of Margaret McGowan Mahan

Margaret McGowan Mahan ’24, August 19, 2008, at Allen Care Home in Santa Rosa, California, where she had lived for seven years. A week before she died, at age 106, she was alert and playing Scrabble. Maggie grew up on and around the Reed College campus—her father, Howard McGowan, was the Reed Institute's first business manager (1908–34). In a 2002 oral history interview with John Sheehy ’82, Maggie described her memories of the campus, the development of the current location and the growth of facilities, and the fun and formality that characterized the college community in the early ’20s. “Reed College was so much a part of our family. I look back on it very fondly. The professors I knew and the friends I had were all good friends. I made close friendships at Reed, very close friendships,” she stated. In their Eastmoreland home, designed by college architect A.E. Doyle, the McGowans entertained visitors such as Reed presidents William Trufant Foster [1910–19] and Richard F. Scholz [1921–24]. Maggie attended Reed for three years (1919–22) and received a BA from the University of Oregon. She left Portland for Chicago, to work for the University of Chicago Press. In 1928, she married James Mahan; they had two daughters. Survivors include her daughters, 6 grandchildren, 25 great-grand children, and 2 great-great-grandsons. Her sister, Jean McGowan van der Sterre ’31, and brother, Howard McGowan ’21, graduated from Reed.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 2009

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