Sowieja, Eugene R. "Geno"
GREENWOOD/RIFLE, Colo. - Eugene R. "Geno" Sowieja, age 69, of Greenwood, Wis., passed away on Oct. 12, 2020, at his home in Rifle, Colo. He was born on July 10, 1951, in Marshfield, Wis., the son of Eugene and Josephine (Vesel) Sowieja.
He graduated from Greenwood High School in 1969 as an outstanding athlete in football, basketball, baseball, and track, holding many local and state records. Geno was awarded an athletic scholarship to UW-Madison and subsequently to Mankato State.
After college, Geno worked as an electrician and carpenter in the Greenwood and Willard, Wis., area. Geno married his high school sweetheart, Lonni J. Denk, on Aug. 7, 1976, in Greenwood, Wis. Together they moved to Madison, Wis., where they started a family of their own. He then worked many years as a carpenter, which led him to start his own businesses of ASA Handyman and ER Home Inspection, in the Madison, Wis., area, until his retirement. With the passing of his wife, the hot, humid summers, and bitter, cold winters of Wisconsin, he was inspired to move to Colorado, where he could enjoy the milder climate, the great outdoors, his love of hunting, and his passion for golf. Geno, as an avid golfer, contributed to the success of the DT Open, an annual golf outing, organized by the Sowieja family. This raised money for the Gene and Jerry Sowieja scholarship fund at Greenwood High School in his hometown.
After 45+ years of hunting, Geno finally realized that "hunting" meant exactly that! When he retired his hunting boots, he found a new passion in the Western Slope Veteran's Coalition, serving three counties in Western Colorado. Although he was not a veteran, he was passionate about serving those who served our country. He was honored to become a member of the Board of Directors, and organized an annual music festival fundraiser that raised money for the Veteran's Coalition.
Geno is survived by his daughters, Tamra (Bryon) Klotz of Dubuque, Iowa, Kari (Dan Swanson) Sowieja of Madison, Wis., and Kelsey (Joe Garcia Jr.) Sowieja of Scappoose, Ore.; and grandchildren, Taylor, Landon, and Layla. Additionally, Geno is survived by his five younger brothers, Tom "TJ" Sowieja of New Castle, Colo., Dave (Nancy) Sowieja of Stevens Point, Wis., Rob (Lisa) Sowieja of Morrisonville, Wis., Ron (Judy) Sowieja of Greenwood, Wis., and John (Nan) Sowieja of Rifle, Colo.; along with many, many in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by the love of his life, Lonni J. (Denk) Sowieja; maternal grandparents, John and Margaret Vesel; paternal grandparents, Vincent and Mary Sowieja; his parents, Gene and Jo Sowieja; mother and father-in-law, Marcia "Marcie" and William "Bud" Denk; brother-in-law, Edward; nephew, Dylan Denk; and several aunts, uncles, and friends.
Interment for immediate family will be held at Highland Memory Gardens, in Madison, Wis. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Service updates can be found on the funeral home website.
In lieu of flowers or cards, please send donations to Western Slope Veteran's Coalition, 803 Colorado Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, or www.westernslopeveterans.org.
All Faiths Funeral & Cremation Services
Madison (608) 442-0477 www.866allfaiths.com