Jay Gowell

Jay Gowell, age 73, of Charlotte passed away on February 3, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Jay was born on July 19, 1946, in Shelby, Mich., to the late Calvin and Beatrice Gowell.
He grew up locally, graduating from Shelby High School, and was awarded the president’s scholarship at Western Michigan University. Upon earning his bachelor’s degree in mathematics education and a minor in physical education, he began his teaching and coaching career at Fruitport School District. Later, he taught and coached for Evart High School, which is where he met fellow teacher and love of his life, Cindy. The two were wed in 1977, settling in Charlotte. He continued to teach math and coach both track and football at Charlotte High School.
Jay and Cindy began building their family in 1983 and were blessed with four children. Jay retired in 2001 due to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. His life was saved by a lung transplant in 2003. After the transplant, Jay returned to coaching football and track and discovered his love of coaching cross-country. Jay valued the time he spent with his family, his friends and the athletes he coached.
Jay is survived by his wife, Cindy Gowell; sons, Jeffrey Gowell (Marcie), Noah Gowell; daughter, Stephanie Gowell; brother, Roger Gowell (Sheila); sister, Marie Gowell; brother-in-law, Bob Meyer; and best friend, Tom Sneckenberg (Dawn). Jay was preceded in death by his son, Michael Gowell and his sister, Nancy Meyer.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, March 7, 2020, at Charlotte High School in the gymnasium lobby from 1-3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a scholarship in Jay’s memory. It will be an annual scholarship to graduating Charlotte athletes from the football, track and cross-country teams. Donations can be deposited at any MSUFCU location or by checks made out to “Coach Jay Gowell Memorial Scholarship” and mailed to the family. To sign his guest register or to leave online condolences, visit www.shikanyfuneralhome.com.