Cover photo for James W. Sowers's Obituary
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1947 James 2023

James W. Sowers

November 15, 1947 — February 26, 2023

James "Jim" Wayne Sowers, age 75, of Lenexa, Kansas, passed away on Sunday, February 26, 2023. He was born on November 15, 1947, in Ottawa, Kansas, to Clare and Marion (Anderson) Sowers.

Jim was raised on a modest farm near Williamsburg, Kansas, with his parents and four brothers. One of his daily chores was milking the Jersey cows. After high school graduation he worked on highway construction until the winter when he attended Allen County Community College. While there he met his future wife, Chari, and graduated with an AA degree. After they were married June 7, 1969, he attended Emporia State University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in education.

Jim's first teaching job was in Chari's hometown of Iola where both of their children were born. He taught junior high social studies there for five years, completed his master's degree, and then began his professional career as a school administrator in Valley Center, KS as Valley Center Junior High School assistant principal and athletic director. After four years in Valley Center he spent the next 15 years in the Wichita Public Schools, serving as an administrator at two high schools and two middle schools, before finishing his career as Principal at Derby High School, Derby, KS for 10 years. During his professional career he served as president of United School of Administrators in Kansas and was representative of the Secondary School Principal's Association to lobby in Congress for funding for education. He earned his Doctor of Education degree in secondary school administration from Oklahoma State University in 1989.

After he retired in 2005, Jim got serious about his golf and sold playground equipment for a couple years. He and Chari then had time to enjoy some travel, many times traveling to where Nicci's family lived to see the three oldest grandchildren. As the family grew they moved to the Kansas City area to be closer to Jeffs' family and his two children. He really enjoyed spending the winters in Florida to escape the Midwest cold for the last thirteen years. He approached his life-ending disease with more grace than anyone could have imagined and through it all, he maintained his sense of humor. Although the end came quickly, he suffered for four years with Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinsonism.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clare and Marion Sowers; and his brother, Roger Sowers.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Chari Sowers; children, Niccole Thorne, Woodinville, Washington, Jeffrey (Natalie) Sowers, Council Grove, Kansas; brothers, Mike Sowers, Merlin (Lynn) Sowers, Robert (Alice) Sowers; grandchildren, Madeline, Abigail, James, Quinley, and Turner; as well as several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held at 10:00am on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at Church of the Resurrection West, Lenexa, Kansas.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Highland Cemetery, Iola, Kansas.

Memorials are suggested to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, which may be left with Feuerborn Family Funeral Service, 1883 US Highway 54, Iola, Kansas.

Condolences for the family may be left at www.feuerbornfuneral.com .
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James W. Sowers, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, May 13, 2023

11:00 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Highland Cemetery (Allen County)

1800 North Cottonwood Street, Iola, KS 66749

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Inurnment

Saturday, May 13, 2023

11:30 - 11:45 am (Central time)

Highland Cemetery (Allen County)

1800 North Cottonwood Street, Iola, KS 66749

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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