N. Floyd McGowin Jr.

Published 10:55 am Friday, December 3, 2010

MCGOWIN, JR., N. FLOYD. N. Floyd McGowin, Jr., of Chapman, passed away on December 1, 2010. He was born on May 20, 1931, to N. Floyd McGowin, Sr. and Mary Alice Eastwood McGowin. He graduated from Lawrenceville School in 1949. He completed his undergraduate degree in International Relations from Yale University in 1953. After college, he served in the United States Marine Corps and Reserves obtaining the rank of First Lieutenant.

After active duty service, Floyd was a principal in his family business, W.T. Smith Lumber Company, one of the oldest and largest lumber operations in Alabama. When W.T. Smith was sold to Union Camp in 1966, he served as President of Rocky Creek Logging Company until his retirement in 1991. In his business associated with timber and logging, he was instrumental in pioneering aviation mapping techniques for forest management. Floyd was a distinguished business leader, serving on numerous boards of directors of forestry-related organizations and financial institutions.

Floyd was an accomplished aviator. In 2009, he was honored with the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. He completed over 50 years of flying with more than 13,000 hours in 58 types of aircraft, including flying for 10 years as a professional airshow pilot. He was inducted into the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame in 1997. At the time of his death, he was the owner and operator of McGowin Field, established in 1930, which is the second oldest active civil airport in Alabama.

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Floyd was active in numerous educational nonprofit organizations. At the time of his death, he was the Chairman of the Wright Brothers/Maxwell Field Foundation. He was Vice President and Director of The Discovery of Flight Foundation. He served proudly as a Director of the Alabama Archives and History Foundation. He was a voracious reader, especially on military and aviation topics. He regularly contributed book reviews to the Montgomery Independent. He completed a manuscript titled The Forest and the Trees, which is under contract with New South Books awaiting commercial publication.

Floyd is survived by his dedicated and loving wife of 57 years, Rosa Tucker McGowin of Chapman, by his son, Dr. Norman F. McGowin, III (Vivian) of Chapman, and his daughters, Tucker M. Slaughter (John) of Birmingham and Lucy M. Moore (Dr. Paul) of Snowden. He is survived by seven grandchildren, Beveridge Moore, Elizabeth Anne McGowin, Laura Tucker Moore, Norman F. McGowin, IV, John Slaughter, McGowin Moore and Kathryn McGowin, as well as two nieces and many treasured cousins, friends and colleagues. He was predeceased by his brother, J. Greeley McGowin, II.

Friends are invited to share in a memorial service on Saturday, December 4, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. at McGowin Field in Chapman, AL, with Dunklin & Daniels Funeral Home directing. The family has asked that donations be made to the Butler County Humane Society, 1310 East Commerce Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037, The Discovery of Flight Foundation, P.O. Box 241, Warrenton, Virginia 20188, or to the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be made at www.dunklinanddanielsfh.com.