Green River Star -

James Oliver "Pappy" Hower


James Oliver "Pappy" Hower, 81, passed away on Aug. 28 at Kindred Care and Rehabilitation Center in Grapevine, Texas. He was born in Rock Springs on Aug. 11, 1933 to George Hower and Elizabeth Bartram Hower. He was raised and attended schools in Rock Springs, after which he joined the United States Air Force, earning a National Defense Service medal and a Good Conduct medal. Hower was known by most when he worked for Jenkin's Music and Vending, then as a deputy in the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office and as a bus driver for Sweetwater County School District No. 1.

He married the love of his life, Donna Shepard, on Aug. 25, 1966 in Las Vegas. They were happily married for 40 years and raised eight children together in Rock Springs.  He was a loyal Green Bay Packer fan, loved camping, fishing, bowling, golfing, snowmobiling and visiting his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Donna, his parents and nine siblings including Patricia Brooks and Katherine McGovern of Rock Springs, as well as three grandchildren, Derrick Dreben, Kevin Mecham and Melinda Hower.

He is survived by his younger brother, Jack and wife Barb Hower of Rock Springs and his twelve children, including son Jim and wife Vivian Wood of Potosi, Mo .; daughter, Shanna and husband Keith Mecham of Grand Forks, N. D., son Glen and wife Cherie Wood, daughter Shelly and husband Marlin Moen; son Bill and wife Bridget Hower, all of Green River; son Bob Hower of Boise, Idaho; son Mark and wife Leslie Hower of Rock Springs; son Cook Hower of Evanston; daughter Tina Hower and significant other Edgar Gomez of Green River; daughter Jamie Hower of Vernal, Utah; daughter Patty and husband Tony Roberts of Gainesville, Texas and daughter Tracy and husband Robert Koenig of Keller, Texas, as well as his 35 grandchildren, including Leslie, Jerry, Eric, Crystal, Billy, Kimberly, Casi, Keith, Jr., Lisa, Mark, Brittany, Mycole, Kayla, April, Arlin, Andy, Aaron, Brenna, Jordan, Crystal, Hannah, Bobby, Harley, Kenzie, Eddie, Daunte, Arnel, D.J., Amber, Kayne, Kayla, James, Ryan, Ashley, Zac and his 40 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at First Congregational Church, 1275 Adams Avenue in Rock Springs at 1 p.m., Friday. Friends may call one hour prior at the church. Graveside services with military honors will be at the Rock Springs Municipal Cemetery. Family members will be traveling to Big Sandy campground to say their private final farewell to both Jim and Donna Saturday.

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