9/23/1932 — 5/13/2024


Sienna Lou Sowatsky, the daughter of Joseph and Margaret Mathewson, was born in Highland Park, Michigan. At the age of five her family moved to Smiths Creek, Michigan, where she attended her first eight years in a one-room schoolhouse. After graduating with honors from Marysville High School, she went on to earn a Bachelors Degree of Education at Michigan State University, alternating a year of work for each school year. Shortly after her graduation, she married Robert Sowatsky and began her teaching career in the local Lansing School District.

This marriage of 66 years brought into the world three sons and three daughters, and she always dedicated herself to being available to each family member for love, support, guidance and encouragement. She was that voice that reminded one not to worry too much, enjoy the beauty of the world and be kind every chance you get. Family moves while raising such a large family were often not easy transitions and included several: Lansing, MI; Battle Creek, MI; St. Louis, Mo; Overland Park, Kansas; and Libertyville, Illinois. She lived life to the fullest as a devout Catholic, mother, grandmother, and ever fun- loving companion. As a cyclist extraordinaire for over 60 years, she pedaled thousands of miles, most often camping on multiple trips throughout the Midwest, Canada, England, Scotland, Holland and Germany. She remained involved in the boating world for 65 years in canoes, kayaks, sailboats, including 20 years of cruising the Salish Sea aboard our trawler Saginaw as First Mate.

Travel adventures, particularly in her retirement years, were endless: a love of VW traveling/camping, private train journeys in Mexico, across Canada and abroad, multiple trips aboard the Alaska State Ferry to SW Alaska, small ship cruises throughout  the Great Lakes, the inland water way from Florida to Rhode Island, European River cruises, Vancouver to Ft Lauderdale via the Panama Canal, Caribbean Islands stays and several Hawaiian Island adventures.

Flowers were her passion as was art in so many forms: painting, drawing and journaling. She loved writing letters over a cup of coffee. Her positive spirit influenced everyone she encountered.

In true Sienna style, she aged gracefully with never a complaint. She began each day with a smile on her face. All who knew her would agree: Sienna Lou was a pillar of love, commitment, understanding, patience, and a constantly joyful companion.

Sienna is survived by her husband of 66 years Bob Sowatsky, their sons and daughters, Cynthia, Douglas, Lori, David, John and Sarah; 13 grandchildren and two great-grandsons. A private family graveside service and celebration of life was held May 18th, 2024.