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Obituaries: Robert (Bob) Sowle, 79


Robert (Bob) Sowle

Robert (Bob) Sowle passed away on July 26, 2014. He was born March 28, 1935, in Ingahm, Neb. to Arthur and Edna Sowle. The family moved to Oregon when he was a child.

Bob graduated from Nestucca High School in Cloverdale, Ore. in 1954. After graduation he worked for his father doing rock crushing and road construction in Pacific City, Ore.

In 1957, Bob bought his first dump truck. In the '60s Bob started Nestucca Valley Construction Co., which offered septic tank repair and replacement. He said this was ideal work for him as he couldn't smell anything.

While in Pacific City he was very active in the Nestucca Rural Fire Department and was a major force in the development of the Pacific City Ambulance Program, in which he was also very active. He was a Cub Scout leader and den father for many years.

In 1978 Bob moved to Amboy, Wash. and worked in the construction industry. Here he met Grace whom he later married on January 29, 1984.

The couple moved to Wrangell in 1980. Bob worked for Tyler Bros logging camp at McCormick Creek. In 1982, he worked at Anita Bay where he became known as "Bob the Grader man." Upon completion of this job, he went to Craig and worked on Prince of Wales. Finally he returned to Wrangell.

In 1984, Bob went to work at Lab Bay. When the company closed the logging camp, Bob stayed behind to remove what the company had built and brought onto the island. His final job was to put the land back to "nature's way."

Bob, Grace and son, David, started M&S&S Enterprises Inc. in 1997. The company offered road construction in Wrangell, fulfilling Bob's dream of owning a construction company again.

In 2007, his nephew Ronnie Sowle came to help with the company. This is the same time Bob's passion for gardening began. He became the family mentor on greenhouse gardening.

Bob had many friends and was a member of the Elks for over fifty years.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Edna Sowle; brother, Dick Sowle; and son, Ryan Miller.

In passing, Bob leaves his wife, Grace Sowle of Wrangell; his children, Mike and Jerilee Sowle of Cloverdale, Ore.; Richard and Debbie Bates of Lebanon, Ore.; Craig Sowle of Portland, Maine; Tim and Lisa Bowen of Kirkland, Wash.; Jim and Lyndel Brady of Anchorage; David and Joy Miller of Wrangell; sisters, Mary (Ed) Lickor of Astoria, Ore.; and Evelyn Johanson of Clear Water, Fla.; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

Looking back at Bob's life, his family and friends remember what a hard working man he was, his love for crabbing and fishing and his dedication to teaching children life skills.

The family asks that any remembrances for him be made to the Wrangell Fire Department.


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