Irv Gower, 87, of West Grove passed away peacefully on May 19, 2012 at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia surrounded by his family.

Gower was born March 4, 1925 in Wilmington, N.C., to Douglas and Clara Gower. He attended North Carolina State University earning a bachelor of science in ceramic engineering in 1950, and a master of science in Ceramic Engineering in 1955. He was a licensed Professional Engineer and a lifelong member of The American Ceramic Society and was affiliated with the Society’s Refractory Ceramic Division.

While attending college in Raleigh, N.C., Gower met and fell in love with Nancy Marie Dixon of Charleston, W.Va. They married on May 3, 1952, and enjoyed many happy years together, celebrating their 60th anniversary earlier in 2012.

Gower served in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War, and later enjoyed a long career as a director of research in a refractory ceramics business. In 1983, he founded the Refractory Minerals Company in West Grove where his son George has succeeded him as president.

The Gowers lived on Cassatt Road in Berwyn, Pa., for more than 30 years. For the past 12 years they lived at the Jenner’s Pond Retirement Community where he was known for his sense of humor and good-natured charm. Gower will be missed by all who knew him.

Gower took great pride in his family. He is survived by his wife Nancy; their youngest son Bob, of Brooklyn, N.Y., a consultant with Rally Software; and eldest son George and his family, daughter-in-law Leah, grandson Dan and granddaughter Sarah, all of Kennett Square, Pa. He is preceded in death by his parents Douglas and Clara, and brothers George and Douglas.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to the Jenner’s Pond Benevolent Care Fund (610-869-6801, and Trinity Presbyterian Church (610-644-0932, in Berwyn, Pa.