Marguerite Doris McGowan

Margo McGowan passed away peacefully in the afternoon of April 9th, 2018. She had been struggling with COPD her last few years and eventually lost the battle. She will be remembered as a loving mother, caring wife, wonderful sister and faithful friend. She had a zest for life and was adventurous, kind and generous, and always had time to listen to anyone who needed to talk. She was a great cook, made creative, delicious meals and loved to go to the casino to play the slot machines. She had a love for travel and always had a book she was reading. For someone in her age group, she was very comfortable with technology and would email daily using her iPad. She loved to play Scrabble online and was completely internet savvy. Margo could be set in her ways and particular about the way she wanted things done, but it always came from a place of love and caring. She will be missed dearly and remembered always.

Margo was born on May 7th, 1942 in Canada, to father Omer Lesperance and mother Viola Desautels Lesperance. Her father was a precision machinist and her mother was a school teacher. She was the middle child with an older brother, Richard, and a younger sister, Jacqueline. She grew up in various cities in Eastern Canada until the family settled in Montreal. She went to Catholic school and was raised speaking French and English. After high school, she trained to be a bilingual secretary and was lightning-fast with a typewriter. She also had savant-like organizational skills and quickly found office work in local Montreal business.

It was cold up there in Canada, and being the adventurous person she was, at 21, she boldly decided to move all by herself to warm Los Angeles, with no job and no place to stay. Using her excellent office skills, she found a job at the head office of a local oil company. She spoke fondly of the sun and fun of Southern California and how anything was possible there. As she settled into the California lifestyle, she noticed a handsome young man who brought in the cash and receipts from his branch gas station from time to time, and soon they were off on their first date to the local mountains of Big Bear. Mike Cabrera and his family had escaped Cuba in the 50’s and were living in Culver City as a family, and the relationship grew rapidly.

Margo had an ability to love unconditionally and was herself very endearing. They quickly fell in love. After several years of dating, she married Mike and was off to a Hawaii honeymoon she remembered fondly. Their first child was a boy, named Michael after his father. Mike was a budding pilot and they needed to move for work. Tulsa was the next stop where daughter, Natalie, was born. As if a full family were not enough, Margo found a fabulous cat named Kitty who was a favorite family member for years. They later settled as a family in Memphis, Tennessee, where her husband’s flying career took off and she went back to university to get her accounting degree. This was no small feat while raising two children and maintaining a household but, with true Margo can-do spirit, she graduated and found work in her new career.

She must have missed the sun and beach lifestyle because, with teenage kids, she and the family moved to San Diego where she stayed the rest of her life. She loved living in Southern California and was an avid traveler. As a family, they flew all over the United States and Canada, drove an uncountable number of cross-country trips and loved a stop in Las Vegas, of course. As if the beaches were not nice enough in San Diego, she planned an unforgettable family trip to Hawaii with her college-aged kids.

Margo loved her mother and after the death of her father, she invited her mother to move in with her and the family in San Diego. Margo cared for her mother dearly and showed it with this kind and selfless act. Her mother was close to her during good times, her divorce, her advancing accounting career and eventual move to San Marcos, north of San Diego.

Margo did not sit still ever. She was constantly on the go and soon met Robert McGowan, a retired real estate agent, at a social mixer. They both loved to dance, take drives around San Diego, walk on the beach, and enjoyed the local winery scene. In 1998, they got married and started an amazing life together filled with joy and happiness. They traveled to Europe, China and Japan, and went on a safari in Africa. Margo rarely bought flashy things for herself, but she loved the look of the Cadillac Allante convertible, and bought the car she always wanted. She loved zipping around with the top down and the feeling of freedom.

Her final job was for a company called DC Shoes, where she got in on the ground floor. The infant company made skateboard shoes and clothing and was owned by two young, skater brothers. In true mother fashion, she got them a coffee maker, towels for the bathrooms and worked hard in their accounting department while the employees skated on a ramp at lunch time. The company became a huge success and everyone around her got free shoes and shirts. During her retirement, there were many cross-country driving trips to Canada with her mother and husband to see her extended family and friends. She seemed like she had unlimited energy to do the things she wanted. She found a love for dogs and had several over the years, and there was no doubt that those dogs were spoiled with extra treats and petting.

Her last trip was with the family on a five-day cruise to Mexico, which in her weakened state, must have taken all the energy she had, but she was there and never missed a family meal together. She spent quality time telling stories of her growing up and creating new memories of family and fun on the high seas.

Margo was an amazing person filled with joy and happiness and had an infectious spirit. She overcame many obstacles in her life and was unfazed by adversity. She was wonderful to be around and will be remembered as spectacular to those who knew her. If there is any one word that encapsulates her most, it is “kindness”. She will be missed. She is survived by her husband Robert McGowan, her son Michael Cabrera (Jean Leitner), her daughter Natalie Cabrera, her brother Richard Lesperance (Alicia Caley), her sister Jacqueline Lesperance (Raymond Villeneuve), her nephew Mark Lesperance (Vicki McArthur) and their two children Kyle and Ariel, her nephew Norman Lesperance (Lauren Maher), and many cousins on the Lesperance and Desautels sides of the family.


  • Visitation Sunday, April 15, 2018
  • Funeral Service Sunday, April 15, 2018

Marguerite Doris McGowan

have a memory or condolence to add?

domenic and susan argento

April 18, 2018

Dear Michael and Natalie,
I first met your Mom in the Fall of 1962 in Montreal when I first met her sister Jacqueline. Susan and I last saw her at Jacqueline's wedding in Quebec City. Your obituary is wonderful and did a great job in describing your Mom. That is the Doris I remember and will always remember. She had a laughter that made the whole world smile and her joy of life was always visible and tangible. She died very young but she lived a life longer than most people. Enjoy the wonderful memories and remember that her physical state may not be present, but her spirit and love of life will always be with you.
Susan and Domenic

Michelle Williams

April 17, 2018

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My mom always spoke fondly of the time she spent living with her Aunt Doris. I am thinking about your family. I wish I could give you a hug Aunt Jacqueline. Also sending loving thoughts to you Michael (we met once briefly in Paris while we were both living there) and Natalie.

Michelle (McGoey Theberge) Williams

Claudette McGoey

April 14, 2018

Dear Family,
I am so sorry to hear about my cousin Doris. I had a wonderful conversation with her just one month ago. She sounded very cheery and so upbeat.
I have many fond memories of Doris visiting "ma tante Eva" & "mon oncle Lucien" in Bourlamaque, QC, laughing with my mother, telling each other stories. Doris was so very independent and wanted me to be as well, once, refusing to curl my hair when I had just had it shortened, telling me I would learn best by doing it myself, that I would never learn otherwise! Doris was kind, independent, to the point and always pushing for me to do my best. As I lived with her family in Montreal, I remember Doris loved to laugh and tease especially her dad - always with a twinkle in her eye. Doris always had some plans for a new project. After ma tante Eva died, she never forgot my dad, sending him surprise gift packages including some hand made gifts.
I am sorry I cannot be there in your time of sorrow. Be assured that you are in both Joe & my thoughts & prayers.
We will send to the COPD American Lung Association a donation in Doris' name.
With Love,

Emile and Doraine Desautels

April 14, 2018

We remember your visit to the Desautels homestead farm in Willow. Bunch years ago. Aunt Vi was with you and Margo. What we remember the most is when u were so excited about supper cuz we were cooking elk roast from elk that had been raised on this farm. Our sincere condolences to you and your family.

Anne Desautels

April 14, 2018

Sincere condolences to a loving family. Doris 's zest for life held no boundaries. She was a kind and loving lady and gifted with a very active intellect. Fond memories of Doris remain , from her childhood period to the present. One of my fondest memory is of Doris as a child during her visit with her loving parents in Saskatchewan, a feisty blond blue eyed youngster , already demonstrating her leadership abilities.