Celebration of Life for Jeffrey “Jeff” Colin McGovern, 35, Lawrence will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, January 8, 2016, at Plymouth Congregational Church. He died December 30, 2015, at Overland Park Regional Medical Center after an extended battle with many medical issues, including Burkitt’s lymphoma.
He was born on March 16, 1980, in Denver, Colorado, the son of Dr. James L. McGovern, Jr. and Jody C. Anderson. The family moved to Lawrence in the summer of 1980.
With the exception of three years at Topeka Collegiate, Jeff attended Lawrence Public Schools. He was a member of the first class to graduate from Free State High School. He attended Baker University and Johnson County Community College. Jeff was especially interested in computer systems and computer security.
Jeff had a life-long interest in sports. He particularly enjoyed watching KU men’s basketball, the Chiefs, the Royals, and more recently, Sporting KC. Jeff played wheelchair basketball as a youth and also participated in track and field events. As a representative of children with disabilities, he was honored to throw out the first pitch at a Royals game.
As a member of the Kanwaka 4-H club, Jeff served as the club treasurer and president and was a junior leader for several project areas. He had special interest in photography and shooting sports, winning awards for both his pictures and his skill with an air rifle. He was the 1998 recipient of the Ralph L. Colman award.
Jeff participated in youth activities and confirmation classes at Plymouth Congregational Church and became a member of the church.
Jeff had a keen mind and an amazing memory. He placed 6th in the National History Day competition in Washington, DC with a paper he wrote and presented about the Dust Bowl days. Jeff was also a National Merit Commended Scholar.
Prior to his illness, Jeff worked as an information specialist for General Dynamics in Lawrence. He provided answers and guidance, first in relation to immigration and naturalization questions and, more recently, about Medicare. He was twice honored as an outstanding representative.
His friends and family will miss his big heart, his unique view of the world, his acceptance of others, his infectious laugh, his quick wit and his love.
Survivors include his parents, Jim and Jody, Lawrence; two sisters, Jenna Bedwell (Ryan), Seattle, WA, Jamie McGovern (Will Sharp), Lawrence; maternal grandmother, Phyllis Anderson, Wellington, KS. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Don Anderson and paternal grandparents, Dr. James (“Jack”) and Jean McGovern.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.