John Wayne “Johnny” Sowell

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, January 25, 2022


Mr. John Wayne “Johnny” Sowell, 74, died Thursday, January 20, 2022, at Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi. The funeral was held on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at 2:00 P.M. in the Chapel of Waller Funeral Home. Visitation was held prior to the service beginning at 12:30 P.M. Burial was followed in Tula Cemetery.
Johnny was born in 1947 in Springfield, MO. An all-American guy, he proudly served in the Army Air Force. Johnny retired from both AT&T where he worked as Lineman and Outside Sales Consultant, and the Lafayette County Detention Center where he worked as a Jailer. He was an active member of the Oxford community and a member of the Oxford Planning Commission. Johnny was a self-professed foodie and enjoyed eating out and cooking at home. His cat, Sonny Boy, and dog, Daisy, were always at his side and their companionship provided him with great joy. Whether in conversation, text, or social media post, Johnny always used his special tagline, “remember to smile”, or signed off, “…smile.” It was his wish to leave everyone’s day a little brighter than he found it. Johnny is preceded in death by his father, Raymond Merritt Sowell; his mother, Ruby Osborne; and a sister, Betty Jean Flannigan.
Johnny is survived by his daughter, Ashleigh Simpson and her husband, Earl of Cordova, TN; a son, Jonathan Sowell of Cordova, TN; his loving friend and companion, Diane Patterson of Cordova, TN; two sisters, Shirley Taylor of Jacksonville, FL and her husband, Red and Judy Sadler of Minnesota; a brother, Raymond Udell Sowell of Raleigh, NC; and two grandchildren, Phoenix Nichols and Pierce Nichols.
Expressions of sympathy or memorial contributions in Johnny’s memory may be made to the Tula Opry, 225 County Road 436, Oxford, MS 38655.
For more information or to leave an online condolence please call 662-234-7971 or visit

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