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Irene Sowder of Vancouver celebrates 100th birthday

Irene Sowder celebrated her 100th birthday on Nov. 17 with her family at the Peking Garden Restaurant in Vancouver. Her children and grandchildren from Vancouver joined, as well as children and grandchildren from Tacoma; Spokane; Moscow, Idaho; Idaho Falls, Idaho; and Albuquerque, N.M. Friends from her church also attended. Born Nov. 17, 1919, in Kettle Island, Ky., Sowder was one of 11 children. Her father was a coal mining superintendent and they moved to Middlesboro, Ky., where she met her future husband, Bill, who joined the Navy. They married shortly after his ship sank near the Solomon Islands during World War II, according to information provided by the family. They retired in Vancouver in 1963. Sowder has three sons, Ken, David and Jeff; five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter. From left, back row, is Marc Sowder, grandson; Kali, friend of great-grandson; Atticus Sowder, great-grandson; Ken Sowder, son; Clark Cooper, friend; Roberta and Jerry Roche, church friends; middle row is Laurel Sowder, granddaughter; and Carla Sowder, daughter-in-law. Front row is Irene Sowder and Mary Cooper, her friend.


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