DR. HARRY EDWARD SOWARDS, Professor at Marshall University, passed from this life March 31, 2021, at St. Mary's Medical Center. He was born October 1, 1931, on his grandparents' farm in Cabell County, WV. His parents were Edward Leo Sowards and Anna Garnet Childers Sowards and step-father John Sowards. He was a 1950 graduate of Huntington East High School where he played basketball and baseball and was a class officer. As a student at Marshall University he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in May 1955 and a Master of Arts in August 1961. Harry was employed by the Cabell County Board of Education as a teacher-principal at Ona Elementary and Martha Elementary, and as principal of Cox's Landing Elementary and Junior High School. In 1966 Dr. Robert B. Hayes, Dean of College of Education at Marshall University asked Harry to come teach at Marshall; he began teaching that year and retired in May 2000. While at Marshall he became a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an honorary society for educators, and was a leader in that honorary for over 30 years. Harry completed his Doctorate of Philosophy requirements at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, in 1975. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi at Ohio U. beginning in 1970. Harry most lovingly dedicated his time to family. He coached and supported his daughter and son through years of cheerleading, gymnastics, dance, basketball, baseball and track, traveling many miles to do so. During his younger years he enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing and boating. He attended the 26th Street Church of Christ. In addition to his parents, Harry was preceded in death by sisters, Erma Lee Sowards Berry, Wanda Jo Sowards Johnson, Iris Ann Sowards Crum, brothers-in-law Pete Berry and Robert Johnson. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Edna Kathleen (Kay) Hall Sowards, daughter and son-in-law Jennifer Leigh Sowards Parsons and Jeff of Lexington SC, son Mitchell Edward Sowards of Rock Hill SC, grandson Tyler Jennings Parsons of Greenville SC, grandson and his wife Sean Edward Parsons and Ariana of Greenville SC, brother-in-law William W. (Bill) Crum, nieces DeeDee Johnson Varney and Jeanne Ann Crum Caldwell, great niece Kelly Clark and great nephew Billy Wray. Harry so bravely lived with health problems for several years, always thanking and loving his caregiver, wife Kay. We are so grateful for his medical care by Dr. David L. Patick, Dr. Daniel Snavely, Jacob Short NP and Dr. J. Robert Hayes as well as the nursing staff at St. Mary's. Everyone was so caring, so kind at a difficult time. Funeral service will be held at Beard Mortuary on Saturday, April 3, 2021, at 1:30 PM with Pastor Bill DeMoss officiating. Burial will be private. The family will receive friends after 12:30 p.m. Pallbearers will be Jeff Parsons, Tyler Parsons, Sean Parsons, Billy Wray, David McAnallen and Ronald Thomas. Honorary pallbearers are good friends Jack Egnor, Lonnie Lucas and Donnie Lucas. Online condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.beardmortuary.com.
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