Mildred Reynolds (Sissy) Sowers, 90, of Roanoke, Virginia, passed away peacefully surrounded by her children at North Mississippi Medical Center Hospice in Tupelo, Mississippi, on Thursday, August 9, 2018.
Born on April 12, 1928, in Salem, Virginia, Mildred was the first-born daughter of Clyn and Effie Reynolds. She attended Salem schools and graduated from Andrew Lewis High School in 1946. Known as “Millie” to many, she spent her entire life in the Salem and Roanoke area before moving to Tupelo in January 2014.
In June 1948, Mildred married Harold Leonard Sowers. For many years, they worked at the Salem VA Medical Center. She was a loving and devoted wife, remaining a faithful and steadfast caregiver after a heart attack in 1978 left Harold in a coma until his death in 1988.
Mildred never met a stranger. Her smile and easy, hearty laugh made those around her feel welcome and loved. Her spunky, unassuming and fun-loving ways brought joy and life to family and friends. She was an expert chicken fryer and “spoonburger” maker, these family favorites being shared at many meals.
Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the light of her life, never missing a sports game, concert, awards ceremony or special event. Grandma always took the opportunity to tell them that to her, they were the smartest, fastest, best, prettiest and could do and be anything they wanted. Unless they were beating her at Uno, at which point she lovingly called them a %$@#*! She loved each of them genuinely for who they were.
Known for her sense of humor, she brought laughs to the 49ers Plus Club at the Salem Senior Center when she was president and routinely opened meetings with a joke or funny story. Mildred also served as Senior Regent in the Women of the Moose, Chapter 1022, from 2008 – 2009. She was a member of Central United Methodist Church in Salem.
She is survived by her children, Gail King (Steve) of Reidsville, N.C., Michael Sowers (Janna) of Tupelo, Miss., and Tammy Bacon of Roanoke, Va.; grandchildren, Sean Bowyer (Tracey) of Stokesdale, N.C., Dustin King (Rachel Fowler) of Gibsonville, N.C., Zachary Bacon (Caroline) of Salem, Va., Amanda Bacon (Ryan McGraw) of Arlington, Va., Hayden Michael Sowers of Poplarville, Miss., Graham Thomas Sowers of Tupelo, Miss., and Natalie Louise Sowers of Oxford, Miss.; great-grandchildren, Jackson Bowyer, Nicholas Bowyer, Savanah King, Glendall Bacon and Griffin Bacon; many special nieces and nephews; and brother-in-law, W. Cecil Sowers.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Harold; granddaughter, Kelsie Reynolds Sowers; and sisters, Harriet Duke and Betty Lou Thompson.
Visitation was held on Wednesday, August 15, at Oakey’s North Chapel, located at 6732 Peters Creek Road in Roanoke, from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Thursday, August 16, from 11 a.m. until the funeral service began at noon. Interment followed at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem. Pallbearers were her grandsons and great-grandsons.
Should family or friends desire, donations may be made in memory of Mildred to the Salem Senior Center, 110 Union Street, Salem, VA 24153. Please designate for Salem Senior Center in memory of Mildred Sowers. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.oakeys.com.