Sammy Lee Gowing

July 2, 1931 – August 20, 2013

Sammy Lee Gowing, 82, of Orrick, Mo., passed away Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at the Cameron Regional Medical Center. Sammy was born on July 2, 1931 in rural Orrick, Mo., to George Mason Gowing and Grace Eliza (Woods) Gowing. 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 attended and graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia with a degree in 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, who preceded him in death. He and his late wife owned and operated the Gowing Funeral Home in Orrick, Mo., for the past 51 years. He also owned and operated several businesses in Orrick and Ray County during his lifetime. He had owned and operated Gowing Elevator, Gowing Insurance Agency, Gowing Real Estate and Investment Corp., Century 21 Real Estate, Ray County Land Title, Gowing Drive Inn, Gowing Laundramat, Gowing-Alder Insurance Agency, and had also owned the Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs, Mo. In addition he had been a farmer. Sammy’s passion was funeral directing and serving the families of the community. He especially loved the little funeral home in Orrick, as it was his pride and joy.

Sammy was a member of the Orrick Christian Church, and served as a deacon of the church. ADA Lodge # 444, The Scottish Rite and was a member of the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association, Richmond Kiwanas Club, Orrick Lions Club and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a member of 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 and will be sadly missed.

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

He is survived by his daughter, Samantha Johnson and husband, Bob of Kansas City, Mo.; a stepson, David White of Richmond, Mo.; a stepdaughter, Vickie White of Collins, Mo.; a brother, George Kyle Gowing of Orrick, Mo.; sisters, Judith Bailey of Liberty, Mo., and Sandra Thompson of Lee’s Summit, Mo.; grandchildren, Teague Thomas Johnson and Eliza Jean Johnson, Rondal 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 12 noon on 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, August 24, 2013 at Orrick Christian Church. Burial with Military Honors will be in Riffe Cemetery northwest of Orrick.

Memorials are suggested to the Orrick Christian Church.


Samantha, If there is anything that we can do to help, please let us know. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We love you.
Sandra & Mike Thompson/Barnett

Sam always had a great sense of humor and compassion, even in sometimes traqic circumstances. He was in mom’s (Rosma Blyth) OHS class (him being older by a few months), but, always like to tease her about being “older” than him. He was an asset to the Orrick Community and to Ray Co., too. God bless all the family and hold those wonderful memories close to heart.
Sherry & Mike Blyth

I am grateful for the life of Mr. Gowing. Thanks to his service and to the service of others in our armed forces, my family and I have been able to lead our lives in freedom and peace.
A grateful stranger

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It was a HONOR to be able to be a part of taking care of Sammy at the VA Home in Cameron. I will miss him dearly!!
Kristi Roberts

Samantha, thinking of you and all the family.
Sally Vick