Coral Bagwell Sowards was born February 13, 1928, in Manassa, Colorado to Luther N. Bagwell and Mary Catherine Brothers Bagwell. She was the sixth of seven children. Coral had a wonderful childhood in a wonderful family. Right after graduating high school, Coral rode a bus to San Diego, California to marry her sailor Revell Jack Sowards who was serving in the US Navy during World War II. They were married June 7, 1945. They enjoyed 71 years of marriage before Jack’s passing. After the war they returned to Manassa and began ranching and raising their family. Coral kept chickens and sold eggs for many years.
In her early 30’s Coral decided to go to college. This was an unusual thing for a woman to do at that time, and she was among the few nontraditional students when she started. She graduated from Adams State College with honors and became a successful English teacher, teaching many the fundamentals of English including her own children and grandchildren. She taught for over two decades. After her retirement she was inducted into the ASU Teachers Hall of Fame.
Coral helped her husband Jack with the recordkeeping and organization of Boy Scout Troop 278 when Jack was scout master. This was a very successful troop producing 18 Eagle Scouts. After retirement Coral and Jack served a mission together for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Portugal. They also served as temple workers for many years in both the Denver, Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico Temples. In 2018 Coral had the honor of being the grand marshal of the Manassa Pioneer Days celebration.
Coral was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her sisters Afton Huffaker, Verla Crowther and Thora Goimarac, and her brothers Lavere Bagwell and Gordy Bagwell.
Coral is survived by her daughters Sheila (Fred) Holman of Alamosa and Linette (Cliff) Perona of Concord, California, her sons Paul (Delrae) Sowards, Garth (Esther) Sowards, Bart (Nanette) Sowards all of Manassa, Kurt (Lori) Sowards of Spanish Fork, Utah and her sister Radeen Sigmon of Manassa. She is also survived by 32 grandchildren, 70 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild on the way.
Coral was a stalwart in her family with good advice for all who asked. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren always wanted to be at grandma Coral’s Christmas Eve party and at her wonderful lunch during the Manassa Pioneer Days celebration. She will be remembered for her organizational skills, her love of learning, her beautiful yard and garden, her chickens and eggs and her kindness and generosity.
There will be a visitation on Sunday, June 5, 2022 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Rogers Family Mortuary in Manassa. A second visitation will be held Monday, June 6, 2022 from 10:00 am to 10:45 am in the primary room of the Manassa Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with funeral services to follow at 11:00 am. Burial will follow the services at the Manassa Cemetery.
Arrangements are in care of Rogers Family Mortuary. To leave online condolences for Coral’s family please visit www.RogersFunerals.com.