John T. McGovern,Sr. (Jack), died peacefully on January 13, surrounded by his loving family. Son of Francis T. McGovern and Simonne M. (Daniels) McGovern, he was born in Portland and attended Portland schools. Until his passing, he resided in Portland with his devoted wife and partner of more than 40 years, Linda.
His work path took him in many directions and, although he only had a 6th grade education, he owned his own body shop in Westbrook and later became a well-respected contractor in Portland and New England. He built hotels, restaurants, apartment complexes, government and municipal buildings and homes. At age 27 he built a home for his first wife, Patricia (Pat) and two young daughters, Debbie and Darlene. In 1963 he was over the moon to welcome his first son and namesake, John Jr. Some years later, he met Linda, his second wife, and her children Stephen and Holly. In 1978 they happily welcomed his second son, Matt, into the world.
Jack loved life and fought hard in his later years to sustain it. He was always “game” to do anything anyone suggested. He made the most of every day. He loved just taking a long ride, “kicking tires” at the car dealerships with John and Matt, dining out, and in recent years relished eating an entire banana split. On his 70th birthday he was gifted a trip to Punta Cana, D.R., by his children and was in awe when he arrived. He took two more trips to the islands after that, visiting Punta Cana and Antigua. He expressed regret that he had not traveled earlier in life because he enjoyed it so much.
He adored his grandchildren and great grandchildren and loved going to their dance recitals, birthday parties and a large variety of sporting events for them over the years. He also enjoyed just having the whole family over for holiday parties and summer cookouts by the pool.
In the past 10 years, his greatest love may have been his Pug, Bella, who kept him company every day and gave him comfort on days that he was not feeling well. Sadly, she passed away in August.
Jack is survived by his wife, Linda, by children Deborah McNally and her partner Robert Howard, Darlene and Tony Napolitano, John and Cindy McGovern, Stephen McKeen, Holly Morse, Matthew McGovern and husband Mike Buscemi, and brother, Roland L. McGovern, his fourteen grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters, Jane and Frances, and his parents.
Visiting hours will be 10 to Noon on Saturday, January 19, at A.T. Hutchins Funeral Home 660 Brighton Avenue, in Portland, followed by a memorial service at Noon. There will be a celebration of life at Bruno's Restaurant in Portland immediately following.
Donations to the American Heart Association may be made in Jack's memory in lieu of flowers.