On February 7, 2021, Ian Fleming Gow, loving father of three, passed away peacefully in Oxnard, California, at the age of 87.
Ian was born August 1, 1933, to Frank and Betsy Gow in Dunkeld, Scotland. His father was a farm manager and shepherd, and his mother helped on the family farm.
Ian was raised on farms across Scotland and England with his brother and two sisters. He had great memories of the family’s sheepdogs, and maintained an amazing connection and ability to bond with all creatures, which he later shared with all of his children and grandchildren. Ian graduated from Peter Symonds School in Winchester, England, and served in the Royal Artillery for two years.
Ian’s path to Pacific Palisades included time living in Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, as well as in Toronto, Canada, and Santa Monica. After settling in the Palisades in 1967, Ian enthusiastically participated in numerous Palisades communities, including the Palisades Tennis Club, the Palisades Men’s Club, volunteering at the Palisades 4th of July 5K/10K, serving as head timer at YMCA swim meets and supporting the YMCA’s fundraising efforts by working at the annual Christmas Tree lot.
Family was very important to Ian, as demonstrated by his dedication to his three daughters, Lydia, Heidi and Jennifer. Ian raised his daughters and grandkids to love the ocean, swimming, bodysurfing and bodyboarding. He inspired them to enjoy exploring the local hills and creeks, to be gentle with the creatures, and to discover all of the small things that take a keen eye and quiet heart to appreciate. He was always there for them through their ups and downs, and taught them to enjoy every moment life has to offer.
Ian enjoyed following world affairs. He continued to honor and share his Scottish heritage, inviting the bagpipers in the Palisades 4th of July Parade back to the neighborhood block party and attending the annual “Highland Games” celebration in Ventura with Heidi’s family. He returned to England annually to visit his sister Betty and her family in the countryside of Essex.
Ian was a stockbroker with Bear Stearns/JP Morgan for 30 years. During that time, he happily coordinated the Bears Stearns Tennis Tournament every year. He enjoyed getting all of his co-workers involved and was tickled to create silly awards to honor each of them in some way for their participation.
Every week, Ian enjoyed organizing and playing multiple local tennis games with friends, into his early 80s. This group of friends was extremely important to him and he always looked forward to his tennis games.
Ian will be remembered as being extremely generous with his time and helping friends in a pinch. He was a very smart and very wise man, and was happy to share his time and advice, when solicited.
He was known for his quick wit and his infectious smile, and he always had words of encouragement when needed. Ian had a twinkle in his eye when he smiled that made you feel special, and always truly seen and heard. He was a gentle spirit, and as pretty much everyone who knew him could attest, an extremely kind human being.
In early 2020, after 50 years in the Palisades, Ian moved to Oxnard to be closer to his daughter Heidi, who helped with his care. Just like he dealt with all experiences in life, Ian managed himself with strength and grace. As he lost his words in his final years, his prayer hands spoke volumes in gratitude for the kindness others showed him.
Collectively we lost a kind soul, a dedicated family man, a cheerleader and a true gentleman.
Ian is survived by his daughters Lydia Fleming of Bakersfield (Weston and Arianna and great-grandson Ian), Heidi Larson of Oxnard (John, Jack and Kate) and Jennifer Gow of Hawaii (Ben, Hana and Josh), and his sisters Betty (England) and Olive (Australia) and their families. He was preceded in death by his brother Frank.
A celebration of life for Ian will be held in August 2021.
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