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Rutherford Councilwoman Picks Up Tab For U.S. Marine

A U.S. Marine who recently relocated to the area had his lunch paid for by Rutherford councilwoman Stephanie McGowan, pictured here talking to him with her colleague from Felician University.
A U.S. Marine who recently relocated to the area had his lunch paid for by Rutherford councilwoman Stephanie McGowan, pictured here talking to him with her colleague from Felician University. Photo Credit: Brian Flynn

That she was in the right place at the right time was not a question to Rutherford councilwoman Stephanie McGowan.

The Felician University School of Education dean had specifically chosen Jim Dandy's for lunch Monday to see how its workforce development program with the university's special needs students was going.

But when a U.S. Marine walked in and McGowan overheard him telling owner Brian Flynn he was new to the area, McGowan felt compelled to welcome him.

She paid for his lunch -- and feels it was meant to be.

"I wound up being there for two things that I'm most passionate about," said McGowan, whose husband was a sergeant in the U.S. Army, and whose son has special needs.

McGowan family

"He was the most humble and most kind person."

McGowan and her colleague spent several minutes speaking to their new neighbor and came to learn he and his wife had just relocated from California with their three children.

The councilwoman hopes her act of kindness inspires others.

"I hope it reminds everyone to take a deep breath in our busy days and remember that these amazing people are giving their lives, their time and their families for each and of us," she said, "as my husband did when he served."

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