Douglas H. Sowards

November 23, 1932August 6, 2018
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Douglas Haynes Sowards, 85 years of age, passed on Monday, August 6, 2018 at home surrounded by his family.

Doug was born November 23, 1932 in Smith Mills, Kentucky to the late Birdie and Sallie Bell Sowards. He was the youngest of 4 children, all of which preceded him in death. His older siblings were Bertie Kathryn Sowards (Vandiver), Mary Elizabeth Sowards (Shuck) and Henry Ellis Sowards.

The Smith Mills and Corydon schools provided for his elementary and high school education. He went on to graduate from Tennessee Tech University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was licensed to preach in 1950 by the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Smith Mills, Kentucky and was ordained in 1951, just 2 days after his 19th birthday. He served pastorates at Lobelville and Baxter Tennessee and then at Uniontown and Geneva Baptist Churches in Kentucky. During that time Doug received an Army Reserve commission with the endorsement of the Southern Baptist Chaplaincy Commission.

The Vietnam War came in the early 1960’s. In September, 1965, Doug volunteered for active duty in the U.S. Army. He served for 20 years and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1985. He was awarded the Air Medal for 50 documented hours of flying time over hostile territory, visiting various units of the 101st Airborne to conduct religious services and 3 Bronze Star medals while serving 2 tours in Vietnam. There were other awards, medals and decorations received while serving in Vietnam, Germany and the U.S. During his time in the Army, he earned a master’s degree from Long Island University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Trinity Theological Seminary.

Doug faithfully served Southern Baptists from age 14 for the next 40 years, then became a member of the Denver First Church of the Nazarene in 1986. The church was always a vital part of his life.

Doug dearly loved his family and is survived by his wife, best friend and soul mate for over 45 years – Anna Maria; his son Bryan of Jacksonville, FL; his daughters Annette Cormier and Angela Warkoski; sons-in-law, Lonzio Cormier and Jeff Warkoski; 7 grandchildren, Rachel, Alex, Megan, Matthew, Kyle, Lauren and Erin. One who will greatly miss her Dad is Hazel, Doug’s pet boxer whom he dearly loved. He has now gone to meet his Savior, family and friends, who have been waiting for his arrival. He is Home at last.


  • Visitation Wednesday, August 15, 2018
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, August 15, 2018
  • Reception Wednesday, August 15, 2018
  • Committal Service Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Douglas H. Sowards

have a memory or condolence to add?

Heidi Bennett

September 24, 2018

Some of my most treasured memories are the times we spent with Uncle Doug, Aunt Anna Maria, and Angela in Vail when I was growing up. I will always be grateful.

Vicki Kloke-Smith

September 5, 2018

Bro. Doug baptized me at Geneva Baptist Church. He was my first “hero”. I was so proud that my pastor served his country and his Lord. He was very dear to my family.

Michael Holzinger

August 14, 2018

Doug was a great friend and a huge influence on my life. He and Anne Marie helped bring me closer to Jesus. He was always someone I could talk to and confide in, and I always enjoyed our times together. I am missing him dearly, but I am happy knowing that I will see him again, with God's blessing.

Shirley Sanderson

August 14, 2018

My heart is with you all. Doug was a very special person. Would come to shop with his wife where I work and always made me laugh. He always had his cowboy hat on. So happy he was in my life. Your now at peace

Ken and Mary Andrews

August 13, 2018

Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with the family. We will always cherish fun memories of many years spent with Doug & family in Vail . He is at peace now and will be missed very much.