Richard Lee Sowers, age 73, of Elgin, IL, passed away on April 2, 2023. He, the fifth of eleven children, was born on September 17, 1949 in Cairo, IL to his loving parents, Jesse Willie Sowers and Pearline (Hayes) Sowers.
Richard’s talent, determination, and iron will showed in everything he did. When he was younger, he gathered parts and built his own bicycle. When he was in his teens, his father gave him a car - but Richard had to put it together to make it run. Richard discovered his mechanical aptitude and the power he had to create something that was his alone through his knowledge and hard work.
Richard graduated from Sumner High School, Class of 1967 - the school's last graduating class. In 1969, he enlisted in the Air Force, working as an AirFrame Repairman on fighter aircraft. He served on several bases across the United States and in the Vietnam War.
At the end of his service, Richard found employment and settled in Elgin. He had trained in the industrial arts - including metalworking and machine repair - and was also a tool and die maker.
It was in Elgin that he met the love of his life, his wife, Diana Lee Sowers, at a house party. After just six months, Diana and Richard were married on April 21,1972, at The Church of the Brethren.
An avid hobbyist, Richard had many interests, including motorcycles, RV travel with family, bowling, table tennis, golfing (winning several local tournaments), grilling and BBQ, playing guitar (self-taught), CB Radios, and Remote Control model airplanes. Richard’s best-known hobby was perhaps drag-racing, driving his self-built '69 Chevy Nova over the past 25 years. Well-respected and with many friends among the racing community, Richard’s first-place finish at the 2002 Black Sunday, Pro Class division is a testament to his drive and love of competition.
Richard was generous with his talents and knowledge, ready to offer advice, tools, and time to family and friends. He made himself available regardless of the temperature or hour, and was guaranteed to tell one of his unlimited supply of stories to pass the time. Richard always took great pride in his work and seemed to truly enjoy being able to support those around him over the past half century.
He is survived by his wife, Diana; daughters, Racheal, Myra, & Kali; grandchildren; seven siblings; and aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
Visitation will be 12:00pm until closing remarks at 1:30pm, Friday, April 14, 2023 at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park Street, Elgin, IL 60120.
To access the closing remarks remotely, loved ones are encouraged to log on safe from home via Zoom.us (Meeting ID: 843 5377 1168, Password: 079932).
Interment with military honors to follow at Lakewood Memorial Park, 30W730 U.S. Hwy. 20, Elgin, IL 60120.
Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home. For more information, call 847-741-1128.
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