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Kenneth Mark Sowby
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Kenneth Mark Sowby

May 15, 1956 May 13, 2024

Kenneth Mark Sowby (67) passed away peacefully on Monday, May 13, due to a long battle with early onset dementia and frontal temporal disorder. He was born on May 15, 1956 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Wendell Mark Sowby and Laurene Allred. He was their second child – and spent his lifetime caring for and honoring them.

He met Dana Thompson as a sixteen-year-old and was smitten. They dated for nearly five years before being married and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on July 7, 1977 (7/7/77). Their talents, skills, and hobbies were a wonderful compliment as they raised their two children – one boy and one girl, most especially enjoying time together as a family. He was a proud Highland High School Ram and University of Utah Ute.

The ultimate sports man, he loved to watch, play, and officiate many sports. In 2023 he was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame to recognize and honor the lifetime commitment he had made to sports officiating in the state of Utah. The relationships he made with athletes, coaches & their respective staff members, and fellow referees were treasured – and spanned across many leagues from high schools, junior colleges, and NCAA schools. He loved the pressure of two competitive teams, as well as the coaching opportunities afforded when they were less equally matched. His colleagues in black & white were cherished and those hours spent before, during, and after games together were some of his favorites.

Sowb’s only bad days were when his sports teams lost or he played poor golf. He started his fandom of the Dallas Cowboys as a small child and continued wearing his Big D star shirt until his final days. He was a dedicated University of Utah fan, including many years of season tickets and regular attendance at men’s and women’s basketball, football, women’s softball, and women’s gymnastics. Anyone wearing Ute gear was an instant friend and would receive a “Go Utes” regardless of situation or appropriateness. And of course, he golfed as many holes as he could fit into any day, week, or season with his golf besties, but his favorite rounds were with his son Jake as they shared their love of the game together. He and Jake also shared in the fun of collecting, selling, and trading sports cards and memorabilia – seeking out items that were rare or interesting, associated with players/teams they liked, or basically anything from his favorite, Wilt Chamberlain.

He was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he had the opportunity to serve in myriad ways; one of his favorite callings included as the ward custodian – leaning into his fastidious, cleanly nature. He asked the Bishop to be the custodian multiple times and was delighted to be in charge of keeping the building to his level of preferred clean and having the opportunity to chat with different groups of ward members every Saturday morning.

He is survived by his wife, Dana Ruth Thompson; children, son, Jacob Mark Sowby and his adoring wife, Jaimi Shaw; and daughter, SarahAnn Sowby Whitbeck. Also survived by his brother, John Bryce Sowby; brother-in-laws, Tyler (Lisa) Housley; Wesley Kirk (Rose) Thompson; Bradley Melvin (Melissa) Thompson; Guy Matthew (Judy) Thompson; and uncle, Bryce Dee Allred. This group of beloved extended family have been dear friends to Ken.

He is greatly missed by his two adoring grandchildren (Kyli Shaw and Asher Mark), nieces and nephews and their children, cousins, and neighbor and ward kids who all loved candy and high fives with Papa Sowb.

On behalf of the Sowby family, friends and loved ones are encouraged to join us for a celebration of life on Wednesday, May 22 between 6:00 - 8:00 PM at the Parleys 5th Ward, 2615 E Stringham Avenue, Salt Lake City or on Thursday, May 23 between 9:30 - 10:45 AM at the Parleys Stake Center, 1870 E Parleys Canyon Boulevard, Salt Lake City. Memorial service will follow at 11:00 AM and interment at Larkin

Sunset Lawn.

The Sowby family’s support for Sarah in her hydrocephalus diagnosis in 2002 has been meaningful and important – especially from her Papa Sowb. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation can be made to the Hydrocephalus Association in his name online by clicking the link below.


Celebration of Life

Parleys 5th Ward

Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 12:00 AM – 2:00 AM

2615 E Stringham Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 84109


Parleys Stake Center

Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM

1870 E Parleys Canyon Boulevard
Salt Lake City, UT 84109

Memorial Service

Parleys Stake Center

Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 5:00 PM

1870 E Parleys Canyon Boulevard
Salt Lake City, UT 84109


Larkin Sunset Lawn

Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 6:30 PM

2350 E 1300 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Services Handled By

Larkin Sunset Lawn

2350 E 1300 S

Salt Lake City, UT 84108-1941

Larkin Sunset Lawn logo

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Life Story Info

Post Date
May 20, 2024
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