Garry MacNew Smyrna Beach, FL
March 4, 1955 - February 7, 2023
Local Radio and TV personality Garry “Mac” McGowan had his final ‘sign-off’ on February 7th, 2023, a month before his 68th birthday by natural causes. However, the how and why are not nearly as important as how he lived - full of joy, gratefulness, and all kinds of crazy stories. He was most proud to be Dad to Kellan McGowan (Austin, TX), Hunter McGowan (Seoul, South Korea) and Brittany Kolodziej (Nashville, TN).
Garry was born March 4, 1955 at Erlanger hospital to the late Betty McGowan and was raised in Highland Park, a student of Hemlock Elementary. When he was 12, he, his Mom and Grandmother moved to Fairfax Heights, just off Access Road. It was then that Garry decided he would go to Hixson High School and be a Wildcat, but as his fate would have it he got on the wrong school bus and ended up at Red Bank Junior High where he remained and ultimately was a Red Bank High School Lion, Class of 1973.
Garry began his radio career in 1972 at WEDG in Soddy-Daisy while still attending Red Bank High. His next stop was at WDXB in Chattanooga, where he started as a “go-fer” for Chickamauga Charlie, Johnny Walker and other top deejays. Garry later got his own show at WDXB, and later became news director.
In 1980, he became news director at WGOW, and two years later joined Dale Deason as co-host of “Those Guys in the Morning,” which became well known for popular features like “Media Madness.” He finished up his fulltime radio career at WSGC in Ringgold, and was later a frequent fill-in host on Talk Radio in Chattanooga.
He worked as US Rep. Marilyn Lloyd’s communications director from 1987 to 1993, when he became the evening news anchor at WDEF-TV in Chattanooga. In 1995, he began a long run as marketing director at Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, serving as the hospital’s commercial spokesperson. He was later named Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at Hospice of Chattanooga.
He later moved to Florida, working in marketing for several medical care agencies including Cornerstone Hospice. In recent years, he operated his own marketing agency, handling projects like the new Parkridge free standing emergency room, now under construction in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee.
Although Garry never adopted any form of social media, he grew his friends list every week. He never met a stranger and no matter where he was there was always a new friend nearby. Garry was a member of many groups and organizations over the years from the Rotary Club, to many TV and radio groups, to his favorite “Tuesday Taco Night” crew who gave him appropriate grief regularly, keeping him pretty close to humble.
Garry moved to New Smyrna Beach full time at the end of 2022, where he spent his final days just steps away from his favorite beach where he would feed “his” birds and watch the sunsets and shuttle launches.
An only child, Garry saw his mother, Betty McGowan, head to heaven ahead of him. His dad, Charles, went before that as did his great companion Max the dog.
Garry is survived by his three children, Kellan (Kristin) McGowan, Hunter McGowan, Brittany (Mike) Kolodziej and their children, Watson James (2 years) and Lucy Grace (1 year); aunt, Esther (Richard) Follis.
A visitation service will be held from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM on Thursday, February 16th at Christ United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN. A funeral service will immediately follow at 2:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who are able to make a donation to the American Heart Association in Garry’s name. Online condolences may be shared at ryanfuneralhome.net.
Arrangements are by Ryan Funeral Home & Crematory, Trenton, GA.