Helen C. McGowan, Age 91, of Monroe passed away peacefully, surrounded by her devoted friends and family on Sept. 10, 2019.
Born in Woonsocket, RI to William and Maria Costa, the family relocated to Connecticut when Helen was a teenager, along with her sisters Stella, Nickee, and Rita. Helen subsequently graduated from Bassick High School in Bridgeport.
As a young, divorced mother of three children, Helen was an early pioneer of female entrepreneurship, and worked tirelessly to create businesses that would sustain her family. In 1962 she started the Monroe Taxi Company and shuttled local residents and businessmen who needed transportation to and from local destinations and New York City airports.
During this time she also worked a second job at Marsh’s restaurant as a bartender and waitress. She then went on to pursue a career in real estate, where she realized the value of investing in property. With the knowledge she gained through this career she went on to invest in several income properties.
Eventually, along with her son Scott, she purchased Pizzaland, an Italian pizza restaurant, where she endlessly demonstrated her unwavering work ethic, working there until she was 89 years old. During those 40 years her other son Larry joined them in the successful venture, where Helen grew to know and love every one of her customers.
Since she was her own boss, it gave her the flexibility to partake in one of her favorite past-times, traveling the world. Many times she traveled with friends, but also many times she traveled alone, as a fearless single female traveler.
She led a remarkable life with a larger-than-life spirit that truly touched everyone she met, and she had an infectious laugh that could make anyone smile. She is survived by her three children, son Larry and his wife Karen, daughter Deidre and her husband Robert, and son Scott and his wife Colleen, along with her grandchildren, Marissa, Robert, and Brady, as well as great-grandchildren, Henry and George, her sister Nickee Meropolous, and her son Jeff.
At Helen’s request, there will be a memorial service at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on the Monroe Green at 3 p.m. on September 28, 2019. At the request of her family, in lieu of flowers, any memorial contributions may be made to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 175 Old Tannery Rd., Monroe, CT or to the Visiting Nurses Association of Connecticut.