Sharing Her Wit and Wisdom

“Swimming upstream may be hard, but ‘can’t’ isn’t in my vocabulary,” says Mary McGowan.


Sharing her wisdom and wit…Thank you, Mary!

“Swimming upstream may be hard, but ‘can’t’ isn’t in my vocabulary,” says Mary McGowan, who grew up penniless in Ireland, moved to the United States to make a name for herself, and continues to give back to her community with the remaining years of her life.

Mary was born May 27, 1934, in Ireland, where her father owned a very modest farm. On the farm, Mary spent her childhood learning the importance of discipline while caring for cows, chickens, ducks, and geese.

As a young woman in America, Mary switched careers often, working several years at a time in law, banking, healthcare, and secretarial. During this time, Mary also attended both John Carroll University and Ursuline College.

At some points during her life, Mary struggled with alcoholism. Today she is proudly 41 years sober, a success she attributes to her involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Her words are clear: “To me, AA is divinely inspired. I thank God for the freedom that it has given me.”

Today, Mary resides at McGregor Independent Living in Cleveland. Mary chose McGregor because she loves the campus and because it is close to the Cleveland Heights community, the place she considers to be “home.”

Mary shares more of her life story: Mary McGowan Story