Lawrence McGowan

Lawrence McGowan

Wednesday, December 12th, 1951 Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Sign in to the Family Interactive Login

The Family Interactive feature enhances An Amazing Life. Authorized family members can securely access their loved one's memorial website settings at any time.

Share Book of Memories with a Friend

Please enter the name and email details so that we can send your friend a link to the online tribute. No names or addresses will be collected by using this service.

Email Sent

Your email has been sent.

To share your memory on the wall of Lawrence McGowan, sign in using one of the following options:

Sign in with Facebook


Or sign in with your email address

Your condolence has been posted successfully

Provide comfort for the family by sending flowers or planting a tree in memory of Lawrence McGowan.

No Thanks

Contact Funeral Home

Please enter your question / comment below:

Email Sent

Your email has been sent.

Lawrence's Tribute Fund's Tribute Fund

  •  Full Name
  •  Initials
  •  Anonymous
By continuing, you agree with the terms and privacy policy.

Lawrence's Tribute Fund's Tribute Fund

There may be a delay while processing. Please do not click the back button or refresh while a payment is processing.


Obituary for Lawrence McGowan

Lawrence McGowan, of White Plains, NY, passed away August 18, 2019. He was 67. Lawrence was born December 12, 1951 in White Plains to the late Joseph and Pauline (nee Sparrin) McGowan.
Larry was a gifted musician who began playing the organ in church. At age 13, he played the organ in front of the pope at the noon Mass during the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City.
His other musical career started in 1968 with Rat Race Choir, a progressive rock band that had a cult-like following on Long Island and the metropolitan area. The group began as a bunch of teenagers in their White Plains homes. An original member of the band, Larry just completed 50 years with “Rat Race Choir”.
He also had a career at Playland. As an employee at the amusement park, Larry became caretaker of the carousel. He knew everything about the organ, and repaired it to keep it up and running. For 35 years, McGowan, made the 100-year-old carousel sing. He also created unique bright signs and hand-painted rides. He became Playland’s artist, and his job became that of a historic preservationist. Larry was given creative freedom to paint the rides and signs however he saw fit. He used his artistic touch on the carousel too; all 66 horses on the ride were painted by hand, and no two were painted alike.
Larry belonged to the Carousel Organ Association of America. Many people called him “Larry Love”. Was was an extraordinary pianist and a painter, lovingly restoring carousel horses.
He played at many churches including Eastchester Church and Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.
He is survived by his sister Gloria McGowan of New York City.
“My loving brother Larry M. always made you laugh. Larry was a gifted musician and also studied his craft for many years. Larry was my best friend and confidante. A STAR LIKE NO OTHER”

Read Less

Sign Up for Notifications

Receive notifications about information and event scheduling for Lawrence

Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    McMahon, Lyon & Hartnett Funeral Home Inc.
    491 Mamaroneck Ave.
    White Plains, New York
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Thursday, August 22nd, 2019
    4:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Service

    Friday, August 23rd, 2019 | 10:00am
    Eastchester Church
    11 Woodlot Rd.
    Eastchester, NY
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Friday, August 23rd, 2019
    Pastor Eric Hall
  • Interment

    Friday, August 23rd, 2019 | 11:30am
    Mount Calvary Cemetery
    575 Hillside Ave
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Photos & Videos

Photo Album

Upload up to 10 images at a time, max 8MB each

Subscribe to Updates

We encourage you to share any memorable photos or stories about Lawrence. All tributes placed on and purchased through this memorial website will remain on in perpetuity for generations.

Tribute Wall

Private Condolence
Would you like to attach a photo or video to your condolence?

No video recorded.


Billy Rooney

“And remember, my sentimental friends, that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”
The Wizard Of OZ, from the Wizard to the Tin Woodsman. (Larry's Favorite Quote)
Frank L. Baum
Comment | Posted at 04:49pm via Condolence

Billy Rooney

It took me all this time to write a fitting tribute to my wonderful friend. Since August 18, 2019 I have been almost speechless and beyond words.

I met Larry McGowan when I was 13 years old at Boy Scout Camp in Brandt Lake, NY. (Curtis S. Read Scout Reservation).
I never met anyone like him before or since.
WE have been very close ever since then, both being musicians just made the bond stronger.
His whole life as an adult was all about Rye Playland and Rat Race Choir, of which he was an original member sine 1967 or so right up until his last gig on August 1 2019. He was there until the very end. That's was Larry McGowan.
A class act, more talent in his pinky than most people would or will ever have.
And gave his life to God and Jesus was his Savior. Thanks to him I am reborn.
I could write a Bible or the Grapes of Wrath or War and Peace and it still wouldn't scratch the surface of the world that was his alone.
I have been devastated by his absence and his loss is immeasurable.
He LIT up every room he ever walked into, and now he lights up heaven.
My life will never be the same and I hope he's watching over us all with his Spaniels, (Corky, Kelly, Kirby, Gatsby) and my Schnauzer ELLIE.

Comment | Posted at 03:03pm via Condolence

Love, Jackie and Samantha Torres & Dilcia Rodrigu

We will miss Larry and all the joy and love he had in his life. He was one of a kind and with a heart of gold.
Flower Image

Memorial Flowers Purchased

Love, Jackie and Samantha Torres & Dilcia Rodrigu purchased flowers for the family of Lawrence McGowan.
Comment | Posted at 12:58pm via Floral Arrangements

Maria Clair

Oh Larry Love! How your brilliance will be missed! And your big heart, kindness and sense of humor. I feel like there is a hole in our universe but know you are at real peace and finding all the love you deserve in heaven. How lucky the big orchestra in the sky is to have you with them! I regret not having had more time to hang with you but so loved the prayers and jokes we shared and our love of tortuous love songs! We really should have burned up the planet with the act we never did get to. I feel blessed to have known you and to have called you friend - way past when I was just a wide-eyed admirer. Hoping to meet again in the presence of our Lord. Love you Laz
Comment | Posted at 11:19am via Condolence

Dorry Dimos

Larry you were so much fun.Wishing your Family my deepest condolences,Love & Light
RIP my friend
Comment | Posted at 09:28am via Condolence

Why light a candle?

This is why you should light a candle..

Share by: