Lawrence McGowan

Lawrence McGowan

Wednesday, December 12th, 1951 Sunday, August 18th, 2019

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Obituary for Lawrence McGowan

Lawrence McGowan, of White Plains, NY, passed away August 18, 2019. He was 67. Lawrence was born December 12, 1951 in White Plains to the late Joseph and Pauline (nee Sparrin) McGowan.
Larry was a gifted musician who began playing the organ in church. At age 13, he played the organ in front of the pope at the noon Mass during the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City.
His other musical career started in 1968 with Rat Race Choir, a progressive rock band that had a cult-like following on Long Island and the metropolitan area. The group began as a bunch of teenagers in their White Plains homes. An original member of the band, Larry just completed 50 years with “Rat Race Choir”.
He also had a career at Playland. As an employee at the amusement park, Larry became caretaker of the carousel. He knew everything about the organ, and repaired it to keep it up and running. For 35 years, McGowan, made the 100-year-old carousel sing. He also created unique bright signs and hand-painted rides. He became Playland’s artist, and his job became that of a historic preservationist. Larry was given creative freedom to paint the rides and signs however he saw fit. He used his artistic touch on the carousel too; all 66 horses on the ride were painted by hand, and no two were painted alike.
Larry belonged to the Carousel Organ Association of America. Many people called him “Larry Love”. Was was an extraordinary pianist and a painter, lovingly restoring carousel horses.
He played at many churches including Eastchester Church and Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.
He is survived by his sister Gloria McGowan of New York City.
“My loving brother Larry M. always made you laugh. Larry was a gifted musician and also studied his craft for many years. Larry was my best friend and confidante. A STAR LIKE NO OTHER”

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    McMahon, Lyon & Hartnett Funeral Home Inc.
    491 Mamaroneck Ave.
    White Plains, New York
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Thursday, August 22nd, 2019
    4:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Service

    Friday, August 23rd, 2019 | 10:00am
    Eastchester Church
    11 Woodlot Rd.
    Eastchester, NY
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Friday, August 23rd, 2019
    Pastor Eric Hall
  • Interment

    Friday, August 23rd, 2019 | 11:30am
    Mount Calvary Cemetery
    575 Hillside Ave
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Friday, August 23rd, 2019

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Love, Jackie and Samantha Torres & Dilcia Rodrigu

We will miss Larry and all the joy and love he had in his life. He was one of a kind and with a heart of gold.
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Memorial Flowers Purchased

Love, Jackie and Samantha Torres & Dilcia Rodrigu purchased flowers for the family of Lawrence McGowan.
Comment | Posted at 12:58pm via Floral Arrangements

Maria Clair

Oh Larry Love! How your brilliance will be missed! And your big heart, kindness and sense of humor. I feel like there is a hole in our universe but know you are at real peace and finding all the love you deserve in heaven. How lucky the big orchestra in the sky is to have you with them! I regret not having had more time to hang with you but so loved the prayers and jokes we shared and our love of tortuous love songs! We really should have burned up the planet with the act we never did get to. I feel blessed to have known you and to have called you friend - way past when I was just a wide-eyed admirer. Hoping to meet again in the presence of our Lord. Love you Laz
Comment | Posted at 11:19am via Condolence

Dorry Dimos

Larry you were so much fun.Wishing your Family my deepest condolences,Love & Light
RIP my friend
Comment | Posted at 09:28am via Condolence

Nick Monteleone

Sad to hear this... I knew Larry from Mamaroneck Ave. Elementary school.. we would have lunch at his apartment just across the street... his Parents were very nice to make us lunch.I havent seen Larry in many years and only a couple of times during the RRC days. As a kid , I always knew Larry was very talented and would excel at anything he did... I also remember him as being a very generous person... I bet he’s hanging out with his old friend “Wibley” ... RIP Larry..
Comment | Posted at 07:46am via Condolence

Michael McNamara

I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Larry. I ran the carousel at Playland for several years and he truly kept the horses in sparkling condition and he was most proud of his upkeep and restoration of the Gavioli Band Organ that he so loved. The world of art and music lost a great soul.
Comment | Posted at 01:11pm via Condolence

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