Division of Juvenile Justice, Obituaries

Longtime educator Bruce McGowan passes away

Bruce McGowan holds a dog while standing in a park.
Longtime educator Bruce McGowan passed away April 29, 2021.

The Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) reported recently retired educator Bruce McGowan passed away April 29, 2021, just two weeks after retiring.

McGowan was a life-long educator, serving the students of the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) since November 1987, when he started as a teacher at the Youth Training School. In 2010, he transferred to the Southern California Youth Correctional Reception Center and worked there for a year and a half.  In September 2011, he transferred to Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, becoming a critical part of the faculty of Mary B. Perry High School.  He retired April 14, 2021.

McGowan was one of the original designers of the Ward Information Network, known as WIN. His ability to collect and interpret data, and present this information visually in graphs and charts, was appreciated.

To recognize his commitment to education, the renovated library at the Mary B. Perry High School was renamed in his honor in 2019.

“Bruce was always willing and eager to take on additional assignments and new work in his desire to assist the students and his colleagues. Most importantly, Bruce touched the hearts of everyone that knew him with his willingness to help and gentle demeanor,” wrote DJJ Director Dr. Heather Bowlds. “While we will miss Bruce’s physical presence, everyone who knew him will keep a part of Bruce in their hearts. We are thankful to Bruce for all his work, professionalism and friendship. Please join me in keeping Bruce’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Bruce McGowan cuts the ribbon on a library.
In 2019, Bruce McGowan cut the ribbon on the newly renamed and remodeled Bruce McGowan Multimedia Center at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility.