Obituary Jerry Grant Sowder

Jerry Grant (Sookie) Sowder, age 71, of Sanford, departed his life on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 7:19 pm surrounded by his Palliative Care Team, his brother Paul and his life-long partner of 50 years.

Jerry was born May 25, 1949 in Coal Mountain, West Virginia, to the late Doyle and Alice Sowder. He was also preceded in death by brothers Earnest and Jimmy Sowder and sister, Versie Brady.

Jerry was educated in the public schools of Lee County. As a young man he enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Fuel Systems Tech. This tour took him as close as Ft. Holabird, Missouri, Charleston AFB, South Carolina and as far away as Vietnam. SSgt E-5 Jerry Sowder was proud of his time served as a veteran.

After leaving the Air Force, Jerry was employed at Charleston Supply Company. From Charleston, Jerry moved back home to Sanford where he enrolled at Sandhills Community College to pursue a degree in Nursing. Other employment included the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant and Bracken and Associates, a local surveying company where he retired. Jerry had a zest for life. He loved his family. He loved the outdoors like fishing and being at the ocean. He had a love for music and a very creative imagination.

Surviving to cherish the loving memory of Jerry are Sammy Lucas of Sanford, NC, Geraldine Osborne of Bristol, TN, Estal Sowder of Mamers, NC, Charles Sowder of Moncure, NC, Rose Boyd (Dwight) of Belhaven, NC, Geneva Gockel (Jim) of Texas, Paul Sowder (June) of Carthage, NC, Danny Sowder of Sanford, NC, David Sowder (Johnsie) of Pittsboro, NC, Joel Sowder of Belhaven, NC, and a host of nieces and nephews who not only thought of him as Uncle Jerry, but also as dad. He will be forever in their hearts.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

Condolences may be sent to

The family has entrusted services to Cox Memorial Funeral Home & Crematory in Vass.

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