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James A. McKowen

Oct 9, 2020

James Arthur McKowen, of Shepherdstown, passed away the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at the age of 86.

McKowen was predeceased by his father and mother, Clark, and Inez McKowen; his brother, John D. McKowen; his sister, Geneva Bush; and his brother, Robert H. McKowen. He was survived by his wife of 64 years, Rose Marie McKowen; his brother, H. Clark McKowen; his three children, James Anthony McKowen, Margaret Ann McKowen, and Michael Sean McKowen; his five grandchildren, James Andrew McKowen, Ryan Daniel McKowen, Patrick Sean McKowen, Allie Margaret McKowen and Matthew James Macaulay; and several nieces and nephews.

McKowen attended high school in Derry Township, Pennsylvania, where he was President of his Senior Class and earned letters in track, football and basketball. The family intends to establish an annual scholarship for students graduating from Derry Area High School who participate in track and field events and plan to attend college.

McKowen also ran track at the University of Pittsburgh until his athletic career was ended by an injury which occurred during an exhibition event at Madison Square Garden. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Penn State University, after which he worked as a chemist for PPG Industries, Inc. for 40 years, primarily at its plant in Natrium, West Virginia, although he was also involved in the startup of PPG’s plant in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Following his retirement, he resided in New Martinsville, West Virginia until he and his wife relocated to Shepherdstown, in 2017 to live with his daughter Peggy.

McKowen enjoyed bagpipe music, science fiction and crossword puzzles and was a member of Lodge 931 of the Loyal Order of Moose in New Martinsville, West Virginia for many years.

A private viewing for the immediate family will be held at Brown’s Funeral Home in Martinsburg, Friday afternoon, Sept. 25, 2020. A public celebration of life will be held at a later time yet to be determined. Friends and family who wish to contribute to the track scholarship that will be established in his memory should contact his daughter, Margaret McKowen, at mmckowenper1@gmail.com.