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DIED NOV. 7, 2004

Shannon McGowan, a cervical cancer survivor who helped pioneer a national network of support centers for cancer patients, has died of lung cancer. She was 61.

Mrs. McGowan died Nov. 7 at home, according to friends and colleagues. She was diagnosed with lung cancer four years ago.

In 1982, Mrs. McGowan helped start the Wellness Community in Santa Monica. There are now 21 wellness centers nationwide, offering free support groups, classes and therapies.

Born in Los Angeles, she attended California State University, Northridge, then became a kindergarten teacher, interior designer and yoga teacher with an interest in health and healing.

During her battle with cervical cancer, she believed therapeutic and social support was crucial, but few such resources existed.

After she recovered, she earned a master's degree in psychotherapy and started the Wellness Community, which emphasized patients' active involvement in their recovery.