Dewayne “Doc” Gower, a resident of Olalla, Washington, passed away on July 21, 2013, at Harrison Hospital in Bremerton, Washington. He was born on August 9, 1935, in Kendrick, Oklahoma to Barney and Florence Gower. Dewayne lived in Oklahoma until he was 11 years old. The Gower family moved to Burbank, Washington in 1946. He graduated from Columbia High School in 1952 at the age of 16.
Dewayne attended Eastern Washington University and attained his Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1956. He also earned his Master’s Degree in Education from EWU in 1965 and his Doctorate in Education from Washington State University in 1972. Dewayne served in the Army from 1957 to 1961 at Camp Hanford in Richland, Washington.
After working for 11 years as both a teacher and a principal for the Pasco School District, he became Superintendent of the Lind School District. From there he went on to lead the Elma School District for eight years. He ended his career as an educator when he retired from serving for thirteen years as the Superintendent of the South Kitsap School District. He was a well-respected and successful teacher and administrator.
Dewayne married Frankie (Loe) on February 24, 1956. They were happily married for 57 years. Dewayne was a member of the Port Orchard Kiwanis and served in many capacities over his lifetime in the Church of Christ.
He enjoyed working on his farm, hunting pheasants, cheering for the WSU Cougars, spending time with his grandchildren and playing with his silly little dog. He and Frankie spent countless hours watching the grandkids’ sporting events all the way from childhood, through high school and college and even as the grandfather of the coach when the kids were coaches. He loved sports and was tied with Frankie as their #1 Fans.
Over the years he earned many awards. Dewayne was the Washington State Superintendent of the Year in 1987 and was chosen to participate in a month long educational seminar at Columbia University, in New York in the summer of 1978. He was also chosen Washington State University Dad of the Year in 1986 for his overall achievement and support of the school as an alumnus of WSU.
Dewayne is survived by his wife ,Frankie Gower of Olalla, Washington; his daughters, Lisa Gower Wickens of Olalla and Sandra Gower Farnsworth of Puyallup, Washington; and grandchildren, Brandon, Mike and Dan Wickens, and Andrew, Chris and Katie Farnsworth.
A memorial service will be held in the auditorium of South Kitsap High School, 425 Mitchell Ave at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. A reception will be held immediately following the service. The family will hold a private graveside service. Pall bearers will be Brandon, Mike and Dan Wickens, Andrew and Chris Farnsworth, Tim Sands, Darrell Fry and Jim Furstenwerth.
Donations can be made to the Olalla Elementary PTA (6100 Denny Bond Blvd., Olalla, WA 98359) for the establishment of an educational garden program at the school. He had many ties to the school through his family, career and community. An online tribute and additional information and photos can be viewed at www.rill.com.