Orval L. Sowder | PostIndependent.com
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Orval L. Sowder

Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Orval L. Sowder, 85, of Rifle passed away April 1, 2010, at his home with his family present.

Orval was born October 3, 1924 on his Grandfather’s Jensen’s ranch in Deuel County, Nebraska to Alvin Thaddeus Sowder and Alma Rebecca Jensen Sowder. Orval graduated from Ovid High School and the College of Mortuary Science in St. Louis, Missouri. Orval was married on March 25, 1947 in Denver, Colorado to Jennie E. Wilds. They were married 63 years.

Orval and Jennie moved to Rifle in September of 1957 and owned and operated the Sowder Funeral Home until 1993.



Orval was active in many organizations which included the Masonic Lodge, American Legion, Eastern Star, Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, VFW, Lions Club and was with the Volunteer Fire Department for over 23 years serving as chief in 1972 in Rifle.

Orval was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and served on active duty in the U.S. Army during WWII.



Orval was a member of the United Methodist Church. He served for almost 24 years as a lay speaker for various denominations for small church pastors in the surrounding communities.

He was the chairman for the annual children’s parade for Garfield County Fair Days for over 19 years.

For many years, he was responsible for organizing the Lions Club Children’s Easter Egg Hunt.

He is survived by his wife Jennie, three daughters, Diane (Dave) Dawson of Aurora, CO, Carolyn (John) Fugate of Aztec, NM, and Rebecca Byars of Idaho, four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, one brother Alvin (Shirley) Sowder of Denver, CO.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 7, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. at the United Methodist-Presbyterian Church in Rifle with the Reverend Rich Stoakes officiating. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Rifle Fire Department, United Methodist Presbyterian Church of Rifle or Hospice of the Valley, P.O. Box 3768, Basalt, CO 81621. Grant Mortuary of Craig, CO is in charge of arrangements.


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