Lawrence Sowieja, 87, went into the loving arms of his Savior Jesus Christ on Jan. 13, 2017, while comforted by family, at Fairview Nursing Home in Dodge Center. His spirit and joy will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, Mass service at St. John Baptist Catholic Church, with Father Thomas Niehaus officiating. Interment will be in the spring at Riverside Cemetery. Lawrence Leonard Sowieja was born Nov. 6, 1929, at home in Holdingford, Minn., one of six sons and 10 children of John and Anna Sowieja. He grew up on the family farm, graduated from Dodge Center and, upon graduating, held various jobs until he was united in marriage to Marcella Anderson on March 10, 1951. The couple celebrated 63 years of marriage until her death in 2014. Following their marriage, the couple moved to Atlanta, Ga., where Lawrence finished his stint with the Signal Corps, U.S. Army during the Korean War as a morse code radio operator. From there, on to San Louis Obispo, Calif., until the couple was called back home to Minnesota in 1954 to care for ill parents. They made the decision to plant stakes in Dodge Center and raise their family. Lawrence had a long career with Midwest Foods in Owatonna, as well as farmed several acres in Dodge Center. He was an avid pilot in his younger years, a bowler with two perfect rolled games, a fisherman, hunter and proud owner of two Pope and Young World Records. He served a stint as president of the Minnesota Association For Retarded Children, a member of the Knights of Columbus, as well as the American Legion Post 384. Lawrence is survived by daughter, Ann, Plano, Texas; son, Mark Sowieja, and fiancé, Jeannie Peterson, Owatonna, Minn.; two grandchildren, Tim Sowieja, and wife, Jody, Maple Grove, Minn., Kim Medill, and husband, Tabe, Allen, Texas; as well as four great-grandchildren, Tyler Szala, George Medill, Elle and Mady Sowieja. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marcella; his daughter, Jane; his parents, John and Anna; sisters, Helen, Mary, Rose, Pat; and brothers, Leonard and Jerome. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 16, at Czaplewski Funeral Home, 25 South St. SW, Dodge Center, Minn., with rosary at 7 p.m. Blessed be his memory.
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