Sammy Lee Gowing

Sammy Lee Gowing, 82 of Orrick, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 at the Cameron Regional Medical Center.

Sammy was born July 2, 1931 in rural Orrick, to George Mason Gowing and Grace Eliza (Woods) Gowing. He was the eldest of four children including Judith Bailey, Liberty, Sandra Thompson, Lee’s Summit, and George K Gowing, Orrick.

He was a lifelong resident of Ray County and had lived most of his life in the Orrick and Richmond areas. He was a graduate of Orrick High School and the University of Missouri in Columbia with a degree in Agriculture and Chemistry. Sammy served his country in the United States Army and was a surveyor in Alaska during his service.

He was united in marriage to Betty Jean White Feb. 28, 1974, who preceded him in death. Together, they owned and operated the Gowing Funeral Home in Orrick, and at one time ran three other funeral homes in Excelsior Springs, Richmond and briefly in Missouri City. He also owned and operated several businesses in Orrick and Ray County during his lifetime including an Ambulance Service, Gowing Elevator, Gowing Insurance Agency, Gowing Real Estate and Investment Corp., Century 21 Real Estate, Ray County Land Title, Gowing Drive-Inn, Gowing Laundromat, and Gowing-Alder Insurance Agency. He had also owned the Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs, and been a lifelong farmer. Through all of his business adventures, Sammy’s passion remained within the funeral business; serving the families of his community with his unmatched presence of compassion and caring.

He especially loved the little funeral home in Orrick, as it was his pride and joy. Sammy was also a member of the Orrick Christian Church, where he served as a Deacon, ADA Lodge #444, The Scottish Rite and Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association, Richmond Kiwanas Club, Orrick Lions Club and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a member on the board of South Point Cemetery Association and was the cemetery Sexton for a number of years.

Sammy will be remembered as a kind, compassionate person that was always there to help and comfort people in their time of sorrow. He was a spirited member of the community, known for his “teasing” personality, love of people, socializing, station wagon vehicles, telephones and of course, a good piece of pie.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George M. and Grace E. Gowing, his wife, Betty Jean Gowing Feb. 21, 2010 and an infant granddaughter, Mackenzie Gowing in 2002.

In addition to his siblings he is survived by his daughter, Samantha Johnson and husband Bob of Kansas City, Mo. a stepson, David White of Richmond, and a step daughter, Vickie White of Collins. His beloved grandchildren, Teague Thomas Johnson and Eliza Jean Johnson, Ronald Bartley, Nathan Bartley, Landon Bartley, Josh Bartley, Dylan White, and Hannah White. Nephews Jeffrey Gowing, Kyle Thompson and Greg Thompson. Nieces, Mindy Grubbs, Melissa Kelly and Michelle Burns.

Sammy will lie in state at the Gowing Funeral Home in Orrick after noon Friday for friends to pay respects. Masonic services will be held at 6 p.m. with visitation immediately following. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 at Orrick Christian Church. Burial with Military Honors will be in Riffe Cemetery northwest of Orrick.

Memorials are suggested to the Orrick Christian Church.

Online condolences may be left at

Arrangements: Gowing Funeral Home, Orrick.

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