Jesse Lee Gowen, Jr.

Jesse Lee Gowen, Jr., age 93 of Murfreesboro, TN, passed away Wednesday May 2, 2018.

A native of Nashville, TN, he was the son of the late Jesse Lee Gowen, Sr. and Evangeline Willie Davis Gowen. Mr. Gowen was also preceded in death by his wife, Joan Weideman Gowen, a son, Larry James Gowen, brother, Robert H. Gowen, and a granddaughter, Airiana Saulsberry.

Mr. Gowen is survived by his daughters, Debra Avalon of Nashville, TN, and Kimberly England and her husband Jerry of Murfreesboro, TN; brother, Bill Gowen of Atlanta, GA; sister, Mickey Abernathy of Nashville, TN; grandchildren, Amy Beth Ghee, Amanda Arnold, and Justin Gilley; two great-granddaughters, Jenna and Giavonna Ghee.

Visitation will be Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Woodfin Memorial Chapel. Funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Monday at Woodfin Memorial Chapel with Rev. Tommy Taylor officiating. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery with military honors. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

Mr. Gowen graduated at age 17 with honors from Central High School in Nashville. He volunteered for the Army at age 17, and entered the Army at Fort Oglethorpe, GA. Having interest in aviation, he transferred to the Army Air Corps, and was ranked as an aviation student. After several months, he ranked as an aviation cadet. Mr. Gowen received his commission and wings as a flight officer, and was assigned to be a navigator on B-29 bombers. He served in this capacity approximately one year, and was discharged with honors.

Mr. Gowen soon entered Vanderbilt University as an electrical engineer student, and after a little over three years at Vanderbilt, he graduated with his Bachelor of Engineering degree. Prominent designs as electrical engineer were the electrical systems in the Vanderbilt gymnasium, Hillsboro High School, and then became a member of the Army Corp of Engineers. He designed several systems for the AEDC facility including the tunnel A model injection system, which was a very large complicated system for which he received several letters of commendation. Mr. Gowen was given a top secret clearance for the purpose of performing intelligence work for the US Air Force, and later worked as a consultant engineer for the US Air Force.

An online guestbook for the Gowen family is available at

Woodfin Memorial Chapel. 615-893-5151.

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