In Memoriam Mary M. McGowan, 85

In Memoriam

Mary M. McGowan, 85

August 13, 1936 – July 2, 2022.

Mary Martha McGowan

COOPERSTOWN – Mary Martha McGowan passed away on July 2, 2022, surviving her beloved husband Victor Salvatore, Jr by 18 months.  Universally known as Martha, she was born August 13, 1936 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  After attending the College of New Rochelle and graduating with an art degree from the University of Minnesota, she moved first to Chicago and then to New York City in 1966. 

In New York she worked at the Associated Council of the Arts, the South Street Seaport project, and for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, of which she authored a history.  When she met and married Victor Salvatore, Jr, she began to spend time at their home Swanswick in Springfield Center, New York. 

Martha fully embraced Cooperstown and all the activities there.  She was a primary founder of Otsego2000, organizer of concerts at historic Hyde Hall, and provided housing for performers of the nearby Glimmerglass Opera.  She was an avid golfer, particularly at the Otsego Golf Club adjacent to Swanswick.  She was widely known for her culinary and entertainment skills, often putting on dinners for twenty, apparently without effort.

She and Victor spent winters variously in New York City, Washington, DC, and Phoenix, Arizona, ultimately alighting in Sarasota, Florida.  Upon Victor’s passing in 2020, she relocated to Waco, TX.

Born one of seven siblings, she is survived by Patricia Cardozo, Anne Cline, Jack McGowan, Sheila Hayes, and Bob McGowan.  She was predeceased by her sister Janet King.  She is also survived by her step-daughters Ellen Cunningham and Joy Salvatore of Waco, Texas, and Andrea Hook of Jericho, Vermont.

Martha will be interred next to Victor in Springfield Center, NY.


3 thoughts on “In Memoriam Mary M. McGowan, 85

  1. Mary Hardin

    Martha was one of the most joyful people I have ever known. She lit up a room when she entered, and her sense of mischief was delightful and ever-present. The parties she gave In the New York City loft bordered on rowdy at times, which made them all the more fun (except, on occasions with a lot of foot stomping, for the downstairs neighbors). She gave her friends the wisest imaginable advice, tempered with warmth. And all the places where she worked and the causes she gave her time to benefited greatly from her involvement.

    I miss her very much and always will.

    Mary Hardin
    New York, NY

  2. Rebecca Hardin

    Love at first sight with Martha, and that feeling never wavered. I did not enjoy as much time with her as my two sisters, did, but every moment was a pleasure. Lucky am I to have counted Martha and Victor among my friends.

    Becky Hardin
    Santa Barbara, CA

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