In loving memory of Ian.
May we remember him forever.
  • 69 years old
  • Born on April 15, 1949 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
  • Passed away on January 9, 2019 in Singapore.

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Ian McGovern, 69 years old , born on the 15th of April 1949.

He passed away after a months-long battle with lung and brain cancer on the 9th of January 2019, leaving behind his wife Veronica, and son Dominic.

During his life he touched many lives and inspired goodness in those who knew him.

We will carry the memory of him forever in our hearts.

Posted by Cai Ruihong on July 27, 2019
Prof Ian's GMS lessons are definitely a main highlight of my university life.

I would always remember my team's presentation on choosing Bahrain for exporting where he then commented that Bahrain was having internal war at the moment.

He has taught us critical thinking, to really think through the numbers that we are proposing and not just because it looks nice. Despite his humourous sharing on his life and his world view, he also taught us principles such as punctuality. I still remember congratulating him for being the teacher of the year back in 2013 and he replied immediately. He was also very willing to offer his time to share with me when he got to know that I am running my own business.

Prof Ian, I will always miss you for being dedicated and going all out for us. You are forever missed by us all. Be rest assured, we will do you proud by succeeding in our various fields.
Posted by Sherlene Gwee on May 3, 2019
I just chanced upon this memorial...
To Mrs McGovern and Dominic:
I am so sorry for your loss. 
Dr Ian McGovern was my favourite NTU lecturer back in 1994. In fact, he inspired me to take marketing as my specialisation. In my final year, he was my Final-Year Project supervisor who encouraged me and my team mates to take on a project beyond Singapore. Eventually, we received a distinction under his guidance for the topic of eco-tourism in one of the Riau Islands. 
In that year of working with Dr McGovern, I had learnt on many occasions how proud and happy he was of his family. 
Mrs McGovern: This may not be of much significance now but in 1997, that Valentine's Day, Dr McGovern asked me to locate the phone number of Pete's Place in Grand Hyatt as he wanted to take you there for dinner. He told me that you like/would like that place. This was before Google and hence phone numbers were not so readily available. I offered to help him reserve the table but in the end (if my memory serves me right) it was all fully booked and Dr McGovern was very disappointed.
The first few years post graduation were tough for me and I visited Dr McGovern once on campus. Perhaps sensing that I was not having an easy time with my career, he offered to give me a car ride to Boon Lay MRT station. Before we drove off, he called home and I remember him speaking to a very young Dominic and told him that he was giving a former student a ride. After the call, he turned around and explained to me that he made it a point to call the household every time he gave female students a car ride so that Mrs McGovern would be well informed. 
He also shared with me the different parenting styles between him and Mrs McGovern. He said that he told Dominic that he did not have to do anything he was asked to unless the parents should provide a logical explanation. He said Mrs McGovern could not agree as Dominic was just a child and should learn to obey parents' instructions. That was etched in my mind as Dr McGovern's style of parenting was a totally different one from my own Asian family upbringing where explanation was never a requirement. Now, as a parent, I made it a point to explain the rationale of my instructions to my children.
These little encounters with Dr McGovern had taught me basic values of love and respect. 
Please take care Mrs McGovern and Dominic.
Yours sincerely
Posted by Peter Dalton on April 16, 2019
Happy Birthday Ian.
We miss you x
Posted by Dominic McGovern on April 15, 2019
Happy birthday, Dad.
You would have been 70 today.
I still often forget you're gone - just last night I dreamt that you were with us, just the same as you were before you got sick.
You were laughing and joking and giving me advice.
I could really use some of that advice now. It's been difficult since you've been gone.
I miss you a lot. We all do.
I love you, always.
Happy birthday, Dad.
Posted by Rasheeq Zaman on January 31, 2019
Ian is the father of one of my best friends, Dom. I met him only once over yumcha in Sydney with Veronica and Dom, and I found him to be a kind and wise man.
Ian, I thank you for giving me Dom, a treasured and lifelong friend. He once told me that you would listen to my song "A Thought Cascades" in the car, and I dedicate that song to you. Rest In Peace.
Posted by AdrianMDMajaham on January 24, 2019
Dear Veronica & Dominic
May Ian sleep in peace. Heartfelt sympathy to you and Dominic on the demise of a beloved husband and a beloved father respectively. He is now in a better place where there is no more suffering but only serenity and joy. We will miss Ian like a brother, loving and kind. Always ready to share his knowledge and experience to help us be more aware of what is happening. Though he has left us, his memory lives on, as a loving and generous person everready to give a helping hand. Goodbye Ian..
Sharing your grief.
Irene & Adrian Majaham
Posted by Peter Dalton on January 20, 2019
Ian, uncle Ian ("Don't call me uncle, that makes me feel old!" he would remind me) was a big part of my early life, growing up, and also to my brother Damon.
  We would travel to London with him and stay at his flat. This, I recall, was around the time he'd not long met Veronica, his wife, who he would chat to us about, enthusiastically.
  We were eventually introduced to Veronica. A lovely and interesting lady. We had only ever really spoke with people from Manchester!!.
  Ian introduced us to Chinese food. We would visit restaurants in London and we could order whatever we wanted. A small thing to some people, but this was new and amazing for us. Chopsticks? Oh yes, he taught us how to use those!! Manchester lads using chopsticks. We were now cultured!!
  Ian was always fun to be around. I have fond, personal memories that i will cherish forever.
  When I became aware of Ians' illness, i spoke with my mother (Jeanette, Ian's sister), it broke our hearts. We were so far away.
  Having today watched the clip of Dominic, speaking about his father, I telephoned my mother. How much he is like Ian, I said. His mannerisms and the way he looks and speaks, i was amazed.
   Dominic is a credit to Ian and Veronica. A gentleman. Ian could not have wished for better, the way Dominic has turned out. A very proud father!
I am a better person, for knowing Ian, uncle Ian.
I will miss him.
Posted by Felicia Tan on January 20, 2019
Prof Ian, you were the brightest part of my 3rd year in NBS. Your wit was unparalleled, your commentary on world affairs sharp and incisive. In each 4 hour seminar session for just one semester, I felt like I learned more from you than in the rest of my years of university education. You are an indelible and precious memory in that 3-year university journey, and will continue to be so for the rest of my life.

My deepest condolences and prayers to your family.

Dear Prof Ian, wherever you are resting, may you be at peace.
Posted by Hai Yap Teoh on January 20, 2019
Siew Yun and I are very sad to hear about Ian's passing. We convey our deepest condolence to Veronica and Dominic. Ian will always be remembered as a very special friend during our stay in Singapore.
Posted by Jinwen Ng on January 20, 2019
Dear Prof Ian, thanks for being a mentor who was different, and taught us differently. The classes left an impact on us. Will always remember the learnings and apply them in life. Thank you.
Posted by on January 20, 2019
Prof Ian inspired many batches of NBS Marketing students to think beyond our fluff and challenged us to be more analytical. While we may not have an answer to whether we should be selling bananas in Peru, we will always remember the candid and genuine discussions we had in class, and the 'dreadful' feeling each time we were being questioned by him. His legacy lives on, and it will be amplified by the many students whose lives have been touched by him.
Posted by Ken Mun Wong on January 20, 2019
Prof Ian
I enjoyed your lessons a lot and yours was perhaps the only one I paid attention to in NBS. I enjoyed it so much that i subsequently sought a job in IE and u helped make the necessary connections and recommendations. Later on, i went to India to work and i still remembered your advice and the lessons you gave. You played a very defining role in my career. Thanks for the guidance and your frank, witty humour and have for setting the bar very high for all of us.
Posted by Sheena Loh on January 20, 2019
Prof Ian was one of the prof that, if a class is at 8, it’s on right for us to reach by 7.55 to be on time; it’s almost always the “weirdest” countries for case studies; cappuccino without sugar for breaks; no phones during class. He was always there, somehow, ready with advice & sharing or worrying about the students, or his son, Dominic.
His passing felt surreal; we were just saying to catch up. Thanks for being Prof.
& honestly, I don’t understand why is Bangkok Jam one of the better Thai food in Sg.
//When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.
-I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Posted by Eunice Leong on January 19, 2019
It's with a very heavy heart that I am writing this.
We crossed path in 2014 when I was introduced to a whole new style of learning thanks to him. As a Finance student who spent most of my time calculating the value of a merger or analysing methods to maximise shareholders' value, it was not easy to adapt to his teaching style.
He posted numerous challenging questions each lesson. His notes were not comprehensive at all (well, you really had to think through and pen down your own notes along the way). Tough love, I would say. But that was what I love. Challenges. I still remember our project was about whether we should build NBS in Ho Chi Minh City. We prepared thoroughly for the QnA portion, even though we knew that it would never be enough. There was no way to smoke him through.
"Every year there are only four or five students I would recommend unreservedly, and this year Eunice is one of those students." As I reread his words for my testimonial, I am heartened that I made an impact on him as how he had made an impact in my life. I had the honour to meet him for lunch separately before I graduated. After graduation, I met him again and updated him about the happenings in my life. I did not initiate a meetup for roughly 2 years before I contacted him. His words to me were "wow, what a nice surprise. i thought i'd lost you forever." The last I saw him was April last year and we said we would catch up every year from then. But I guess I would never have this chance again.
Thank you for being a part of my memories, Prof Ian.
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln
And I am pretty sure you will agree with me on that.
Posted by Mun Yee on January 18, 2019
GMS was my favourite class because of Prof Ian - his class was not the easiest but the most intellectually challenging and interesting. He always challenged us to think more critically, challenge one another and he often offered perspectives that go beyond what textbooks can teach. He was funny, witty and a professor who really cared about his students and their development. There are not a lot of such professors around and I was lucky to be in his class. I am sure all his students would miss him and I hope he is in a better place now.
Posted by Ann Ong on January 19, 2019
It was just not too long ago that we invited Prof Ian to our Class 1993 Reunion that happened in Nov 2018. The 1st batch of NTU Marketing cohort which he taught the final year (1992-1993). With his big smile he told me "...not sure if I will attend, I am not the sociable type." This is really too sudden... too soon. Prof Ian is the most humble, friendly and humorous ang mo Profs that we had. He did break my wrong perceptions of ang mo in my younger days. Even when I became a staff in NBS Prof Ian is still the faculty that we can easily approach and get his advice. He will be dearly missed.
Posted by Jerine Teo on January 19, 2019
Prof Ian is a dedicated and knowledgeable professor that truly left an impact on my uni education. What he taught years ago is still relevant today, and he was always telling the hard truths and pushing our limits during lessons. I will always remember his teachings, humour and genuineness.
Posted by Rachel Ng on January 18, 2019
My favourite lecturer of all times. Thanks for imparting knowledge whilst being funny at the same time. You'll be forever missed. Knowing that you are in a better place now with no pain nor sickness comforts me. And I pray that the Lord comforts the family in this difficult time. Rest assured that the separation is temporal but the reunion in heaven is sweet and eternal.
Posted by Aaron Tham on January 19, 2019
Ian taught my classmates and I between 2001 and 2002. He was like the maverick at NBS, and reminded me of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. Ian's witty and interactive exchanges would spark my desire to go on and pursue an academic career, and when we met just over a year ago, realised that I was probably one of the rare few to be in this privileged position.
Many things have changed at NBS, but Ian was part of a team then who made a difference to my life, and I believe several others too.
May your legacy live on through your loved ones, friends and lives that you have impacted in more than two decades in Singapore.
Posted by Nathaniel Mah on January 17, 2019
My Uncle Ian was an incredibly smart and witty man, with an inimitable sense of humour. He was also a brilliant cook, and the annual visit to Uncle Ian's and Aunty Veronica's to eat their amazing home-cooked meals was always one of the highlights of the year for me. Though he was not an overtly affectionate person, he had a way of making one feel loved, acknowledged and welcome in his presence. He was truly a great man and will be deeply missed.
Posted by Emma Wilson on January 17, 2019
Ian was an incredible man, so genuine and full of love. I admired him greatly for the support and guidance he provided his son and I, and I am thankful he was a part of my life. He will be missed dearly, and will always be in our hearts.
Posted by Joseph Chua on January 17, 2019
O Captain! My Captain! Rise up and hear the bells... Rise up, for you the flag is flung... For you the bugle trills...
Posted by Cindy Chin on January 16, 2019
In my memory, you are always friendly and humble. You will always say hi or how are you or just a small chat or crack a little joke at the doorway or staff lounge and this has gone on for so many years. Sad to know that you are longer around, I will surely miss you.
Posted by Aik Leong Lim on January 16, 2019
Prof Ian left a deep impression on me with his passion in passing his knowledge, as well as being super approachable.
I also enjoy chatting football with him and remember him as a passionate Man City fan who has been behind the team even during the not so glorious days.
Prof Ian will be deeply missed and is a great lost to the students of the faculty.
Posted by Alfred Toh on January 16, 2019
Prof Ian was my bm213 international marketing module tutor as well as my final year project tutor. He was firm in his standards yet very approachable and caring in personal. I once saw him a few years back in NTU during a convocation ceremony and after years he still remembers his students by name. We have lost a great teacher, a coach and a mentor.
Posted by Ryo Leong on January 15, 2019
Prof Ian had a great impact to my life. He challenged us back then saying that Singaporeans are too comfortable to venture overseas. I took up the challenge and signed up for the WorkAsia programme by Singapore International Foundation in 1994.
By some divine intervention, I got selected (after someone "dropped out") to go to Hong Kong on a 8-week internship with Taipan Bread & Cakes and subsequently signed on and stayed for 2.5 years. The stint allowed me to be adaptable working in different countries and cultures, which was useful when I took up a one-year posting to Vietnam years later with Mediacorp.
Now that I'm teaching adjunct at the polytechnics, I am reminded on the impact that I can have on my students... just like how Prof Ian had impacted me. It is a privilege that must be handled with care and I hope I am able to live up to Prof Ian's standards.
Rest in peace, Prof Ian.
Posted by Peter Dalton on January 15, 2019
    How well I remember the special times, as we were raised side by side, sharing good times, sharing bad.
Words cannot express how much you will be missed. Although we were far away in distance, you were never far away in our thoughts.
  We are all extremely proud of your achievements and Dominic who will follow in your footsteps.
It's a comfort knowing you're now back with Mum and Dad.
Until we meet again Ian, I feel that you'll always be with me.
  Love your Baby sister Jeanette and Family xxxx
Posted by Ulrike Murfett on January 15, 2019
I had the privilege of having wonderful conversations with Ian whenever we met in the staff lounge or at NBS events. I will forever remember his acerbic wit and good advice. Thank you, Ian. May you rest In peace and may God’s eternal light shine upon you. To Ian‘s family, please accept my deepest condolences.
Posted by Charlie CHAROENWONG on January 15, 2019
Ian was my office neighbor and used to be my house neighbor as well. I'm going to miss our good old days when we sipped wine and talked until passing midnight.

May you rest in peace.
Posted by Lai Hong Chung on January 15, 2019
We have lost a committed educator and wonderful colleague. Ian loved teaching and interacting with his students. Will miss him for his wonderful sense of humor, perspectives on various matters and his friendship since 1992. It has been a privilege knowing you Ian!.
Posted by Vish S. Viswanathan on January 15, 2019
I will miss all the long conversations I have had with Ian in his corner office in section C. RIP, Ian.
Posted by Teck Min Choo on January 15, 2019
We will truly miss Ian and his dry wit. He was a great and supportive colleague. Still can't quite believe he has left us so soon but he will always stay in our hearts and memories.
Posted by Lynette Chee on January 15, 2019
Thank you prof Ian. I enjoyed your lessons very much and thought your lessons were the most practical because other than imparting knowledge, you gave us lessons of life. It’s true, prof Ian great sense of humour made his lessons notch higher than the rest. Thank you for some advices that I have asked before, guiding us along in the world of marketing. Your dedication towards us will never be forgotten
Posted by Gillian A. on January 14, 2019
To Ian,
When I first received news of your demise, I had to read the text a few times to really make sense of it. We were still in a whatsapp conversation mid last year and talked about meeting up. Your departure is still surreal to me. Thank you for this last lesson about life, Ian, that we should not procrastinate to make time for friends and family.
During the undergraduate years at NBS, you taught us for 2 consecutive years and it was the first time we experienced grading for class participation (your effort to make us speak up in class) and open book exam ("open book" was a total smoke screen). The world outside NTU and Singapore looked so exciting through International Business Marketing and Global Marketing Strategy which you taught. Your teaching pedagogy, humour, candidness and care for students definitely made you one of our favourite professors at the school.
I am sure that you are in a better place now. Wherever you are, may you be well and happy.
Yours student always,
Posted by Alex Lim on January 13, 2019
Prof Ian was a great tutor for our class and me! He always encouraged us to think out of the box and challenged us with very tough industry questions.
Very applicable to our real-life work life.
He is very witty and humorous as well.
We will all miss him dearly.
Rest in Peach my dear Sir.
God Bless!

NBS - Class of 2008
Posted by M Lee on January 14, 2019
Prof Ian - definitely one of the most remarkable professors I learnt from. Your classes were the most thoughts-intriguing, and you definitely challenged me to think beyond confined limits of theories, textbooks and my known limits. RIP, Prof Ian, you will be remembered.
Posted by Janet Chung on January 13, 2019
I met Ian through his wife Veronica who is my good friend when they moved to Spore to reside. He visited Kota Kinabslu often as it is the hometown of Veronica. During these visits I was blessed to be able to join in dinners with this loving couple n visited each other. From years before, I could see Veronica had found a very good man as he was a very loving and concerned husband, and many aspects of his personal character outside his life as a professor in the university. He was simple n humble without a tint of arrogance in him, witty, observant, smart, kind and helpful. Some years back I stayed with the couple while in Spore...
my son and I were given his master room to stay in while they said will sleep in Dom's room. To my amazement , found him curled up sleeping on the floor of his study later....that's how kind and generous Ian was! Still more to this....he cooked breakfast, baked bread and even cooked a sumptuous dinner for us. Ian not only loved cooking he also loved food but was picky.
He claimed intolerance to 'belacan' shrimp paste but he unknowingly loved vegetables fried with it. He loved his wife's hakka yong tau foo and he would chop the pork filling for her just so that she would cook that for him. Ian had a penchant for cooking and baking himself too. He joined a cooking class on Italian food while touring Italy with Veronica a few years back. He made his own bread and in recent year he began making his own sourdough starter n sourdough bread. Makes me sad to think of our last meeting which was last year when he brought some sourdough starter to me in my house in Kota Kinabalu all the way from Spore and taught me to make it. I noticed he had slimmed down a lot but he told me that was because he was on a low carb diet and taken up running to keep fit. If only I had known..... never had the chance to say goodbye sadly as you left so fast. May you rest in peace Ian....will always remember you. Feel blessed to have known u and to have been your friend.
Posted by John Beck on January 13, 2019
I joined NTU at the same time as Ian in 1992, and we have been friends since then. His knowledge and expertise in regional markets was unsurpassed, and you can see from the comments of his students that he was a dedicated and inspirational teacher. The students held Ian in such respect and affection that for years following their graduation they would invite him to reunion dinners.
To understand Ian you need to see him as a dedicated a lifelong supporter of Manchester City. He told me that when much younger he would go to all of the away games that City played in a season, and at times, when he could not get back home he would sleep in a public telephone box until he morning. Only this who know what cold and bleak place northern England can be in the middle of winter can truly gauge the depth of dedication to his team. 
The world has been a better place for your being here Ian. We will miss you
Posted by Shao Chong Tan on January 13, 2019
Prof Ian was a teacher who encourages his students to always think and challenge what the text books say. And that was more than 20 years ago in an age where students are hardly encouraged to do so. Truly a trailblazer. RIP Prof Ian. You will be missed.
Posted by SF Lee on January 13, 2019
Prof Ian is a witty and inspiring teacher. His lessons are very interesting. He left such a deep impression on me that I immediately remembered him just by the name alone, even though I am very very bad with names and faces and even after I left the university for very long.
Prof Ian, thanks for being one of my professors. You will be missed.
Posted by Emma C on January 13, 2019
Dr. Ian McGovern was an inspiring educator and never was hesitated to share valuable insights and knowledges with us in his class “Markets of Southeast Asia: An Overview” . It was an amazing learning journey guided by him. Sad for me as I no longer have the chance to recommend his class to new students but he lives in our hearts forever.
Posted by Wayne K. on January 13, 2019
I had never met Ian personally. The only time we ever interacted was through the phone which was twice a year before the semester begins . He was coordinating the time table for AB1501 Marketing tutorials. Ian was always helpful, kind & empathetic.
Posted by Patrick Gibbons on January 11, 2019
Ian was an inspiring teacher, extremely caring to his students and a man of amazing insight into the dynamics of South East Asia. In addition, he was witty and engaging and a great friend. A true gentleman and scholar.
Posted by X R on January 11, 2019
Thank you for being in our lives - you've imparted knowledge, shaped our minds and forever touched our hearts.
Posted by Mjelva Ong on January 11, 2019
Ian was my good friend Dom's father. While we had met the many times that I stayed over throughout the years, I can't say that I knew the man very well. I couldn't tell you his hobbies, what his favourite food was, or even what music he liked.

What I do know is that he had a terrific sense of humour and dry wit. It's also something that made me realise where Dom had got this from. Why we not only became friends in the first place, but also why we stayed friends all this time.

I'm not one to be overly emotional when it comes to death. In fact, I'm generally quite nonchalant about it. I didn't cry at either of my grandmothers' funeral even though they were both some of my favourite people in the world. But having a mother that is the same age, Ian's passing leaves an especially tight knot in my heart.

It's a real knock on the head when someone you know personally dies. The end may be inevitable for us all, but it's always a shock when it comes this soon. While typing this out, all sorts of memories come flooding back and I find myself wishing I could have known Ian better. In the end, I'm left being thankful that I at least got to know his son, who his spirit and wit lives on through.

Ian McGovern will be missed.

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