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Published: Sunday, 8/17/2003

Dana engineer respected for thoroughness

Eugene E. Sowers, 80, a longtime Dana Corp. mechanical engineer respected for his thoroughness and innovation, died of cancer Friday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township.

Mr. Sowers of West Toledo worked at Dana for 36 years, retiring in 1987 as senior product engineer. He began as a draftsman and later did engineering work on Dana's universal joints, transmissions, and axles.

“He was a very talented guy,” said Philip Mazziotti, a retired Dana vice president of engineering. “If he was given an assignment, you knew that he was going to put in his best thinking and it would be complete and it was what he was asked to do - plus all of the things he could add to it. He was a guy who liked innovation and liked doing things that were not just routine.”

Mr. Sowers was a consultant in retirement. He and Mr. Mazziotti shared several patents.

Born in Chicago, Mr. Sowers grew up in West Toledo and was a graduate of the former DeVilbiss High School. He was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and was a B-24 nose gunner in the European Theater.

He received a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo.

Mr. Sowers was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. He was a stamp collector and liked to grow flowers in his garden, especially gladioli. He and his wife, Barbara, visited Europe and Asia in retirement.

With his mathematical acumen, he gladly answered the call of children and grandchildren for homework help. He had a chalkboard on which he and they worked out problems.

“He was the perfect dad,” daughter Debbie Judkins said.

Surviving are his wife, Barbara, whom he married April 7, 1944; son, Eugene R. Sowers; daughters, Sharyn Trumm, Debbie Judkins, and Holly Stanton; brother, Robert Sowers; five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Ansberg-West Mortuary, where the body will be after 3 p.m. tomorrow.

The family requests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township, Reformation Lutheran Church, of which he was a member, or the American Cancer Society.

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