Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Ricardo Sowell

August 11, 2023
Detroit, MI




Ricardo Myzell Sowell, 69, formerly of Portage, passed away on Friday, August 11 in Detroit, MI. Ricardo was born on January 22, 1954 in Ypsilanti, MI, the fourth child of Edward and Elizabeth Sowell. He grew up in Inkster, MI, and was a member of the Taylor High School class of 1972, where he played football and participated in the marching band. Ricardo attended Western Michigan University, where he was an active member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, later helping to start the Kappa alumni chapter at WMU. Following his time at Western, he was employed at the Upjohn Company(now Pfizer) for 36 years, until his retirement in 2010.

Throughout his life, Ricardo had an enthusiastic passion for helping and encouraging others, especially his children. Ricardo was a wonderful father, who supported his children in all they did. He was most involved in their education, supporting both their academics as well as their extracurricular activities through serving as a coach for Odyssey of the Mind and recreational basketball teams, and as a member of various steering committees for Portage Public Schools. He also coached middle school baseball at Kalamazoo's Hillside Middle School, and served as a life coach for several members of his church. Ricardo enjoyed watching football and basketball, mentoring youth, working out, meditation, traveling and reading. He was a dynamic personality who loved to have deep conversations with all kinds of people.

Ricardo married the former Brenda Sanders on November 3, 1984, and she survives. He also leaves behind his two sons, Ricardo(Ernesha) Sowell and Brandon(Devon Davis) Sowell, and a daughter, Ashley(Dwayne) Dickerson; grandchildren DeAunte, Natalie, Brooklyn, and Duke; sisters Delores(Carl) Miller, Sandra Laws, Camille(Craig) Turner, and brother Anthony Sowell. In addition, he is survived by his adopted family Okonkwo Jackson and Nathan and Aquila Blackwell, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and many dear friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and a sister, Madeline Penson.

Special thanks to his lifelong friend and fraternity brother, Ronald Patrick, and his sister, Camille Turner, for their care and support of Ricardo in his final months of life.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at Stones Church, 1225 W. Patterson in Kalamazoo, MI, with a time to greet the family following the service. Memorials in Ricardo's name may be made to the Douglass Community Center, 1000 W. Patterson Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007.