Doreen Joy Stromberg Gowans, beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away peacefully at her home on October 10, 2021. She was 86.
Doreen was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on September 1, 1935, to Dorothy Banks and Rulon Stromberg. She grew up on a farm in Grantsville where she learned to work hard, an ethic that she carried forward through her life. During high school, she met the love of her life and best friend, Don Francis Gowans. They were married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on June 5, 1953.
Doreen had many adventures in her life. As a new young mother, she traveled to Germany to be with her husband while he served in the US military, then traveled with him again several decades later to serve a mission in South Africa. She loved her flowers, her garden, and exploring nature. During one of many memorable family vacations, Doreen and Don took turns driving their big yellow van from Utah to Alaska, camping at KOAs along the way and instilling a sense of wonder in their children who watched the world open up as both the landscape and mosquitoes got bigger.
Doreen served in many different church callings, but she especially loved working with little children. Her callings in the LDS children’s primary organization were her favorite. She and Don supported a total of 21 children and grandchildren on their missions for the LDS Church.
Doreen also loved beautiful and inspiring music. Unbeknownst to many, she played a pretty good trombone in high school. She also ensured that each of her children had the opportunity to learn to play the piano and encouraged them to explore other musical instruments as well.
Doreen will be especially missed for how she laughed while watching a British comedy, the way she cheated shamelessly and hilariously at any game, magical backyard summer picnics with tuna fish sandwiches on her homemade bread and black olives, her genuine happiness in any of her children’s or grandchildren’s successes, her sense of humor, and the way she and Don teased each other, always with an unflappable undercurrent of love. Her joy will be missed as will her beautiful smile, though both are branded in our hearts.
Doreen is survived by her husband, Don, and their 11 children: Patricia (Jay) Turner, Christine (Keith) Thompson, Michelle (Dan) Primavera, Phillip (Debi) Gowans, Stephanie (Miguel) Chavez, Jennifer (Mike) Vandenberg, David (Jodi) Gowans, Mark Gowans, Melissa Gowans, Matthew (Amy) Gowans, and Andrew (Colleen) Gowans. She is also survived by her siblings, Mavis, Ben, Laurel, and Dorothy, as well as 46 grandchildren and 81 great-grandchildren, plus 3 more great-grandchildren on the way. Doreen was preceded in death by two grandchildren, Amanda and Brian Primavera.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the Canyon Rim Stake Center, 3051 South 2900 East, Salt Lake City, Utah. Friends and family may visit on Friday, October 15, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Canyon Rim Stake Center, and on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the stake center prior to services. In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on her behalf.
For those unable to attend in person the funeral will be live-streamed at: www.HolbrookMortuary.com. To watch the funeral scroll to the bottom of Doreen's obituary page on the Holbrook Mortuary website on the day of the funeral, the live-stream will remain available to watch for 90 days.
Interment, Riverton Cemetery. Online message to the family can be made at: www.holbrookmortuary.com
Funeral Service Audio