Friends remembered: Joseph R. Sowers

Joseph R. Sowers, 96, of Kingston, Tenn., died Dec. 8, 2015.  At age 23 in 1942, Sowers, then an automobile mechanic, saved an 8-year-old boy from drowning in the flooded Thornapple River in Hasting, Mich.   The boy, unconscious, was submerged at a point about 40 feet from the bank when reached by Sowers, who had to dive for him.  Sowers became numb and greatly fatigued while returning to the bank with the boy and to be pulled in the last few feet by another man.  For his heroic actions, Sowers was awarded the medal in 1943.  He went on to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II and then had a 50-year career in construction and construction management, retiring in 1998 from the Los Alamos (NM) National Laboratory.