Animals Pets 01

Nioka Lee Sowards

May 9, 1966 ~ December 20, 2023 (age 57) 57 Years Old

Nioka Sowards Obituary

Nioka Lee Sowards passed away at age 57 Wednesday, December 20, 2023 surrounded by her family in Roanoke, Virginia following an extended illness. Nioka was born, the fourth of ten children, May 9, 1966 in Long Beach, California, to Samuel George Sr. and Martha Elizabeth (Glover) Sowards.

Nioka attended school in Garden Grove, California and Vinton, Ohio. She loved to travel and meet people. She lived at various times in Ohio, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Texas, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, California and the country of Belize. She enjoyed spending time with her beloved family, working in her garden and loving all her pets.

Nioka married Stanley Gene Spencer June 22, 1983 and to this union were born to cherished sons, Stanley Gene (Summer Avis Nichols) Spencer, Jr., Roanoke, Virginia and Victor Lee Ryan (Randi Lynn James) Spencer, Bedford, Virginia along with grandchildren: Charles Anthony Riley, Calvin Lee Riley and Victor Eugene Spencer, all of Virginia. Also surviving are her brothers: Samuel George (Rhonda) Sowards, Jr., William Shain (Shelby) Sowards, Jeff Ray (Lay Ling Sng) Sowards, Jim Sowards, Vance G. Sowards and Russell Allen “Duke” Sowards, all of Ohio; sisters: Ruth Ann Sowards Warden (Ryan) Daniels, Ohio and Che-hona Sue Sowards Miller, Orlando, Florida; a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and special friend, Owen.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded by brother, Victor B. Sowards and her beloved hairless crested Chinese dog, Gidget and poodle, Fancy.

Nioka will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her. She will be remembered for her easy laugh, her selfless ways and generous heart, always trying to help those in need, and as a savior of all stray animals that crossed her path. Her love of God’s creatures, great and small, knew no bounds.

Private services will be conducted at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations for funeral expenses may be made to the McCoy-Moore Funeral Home P O Box 148 Vinton OH 45686 or online via where condolences may be sent to the family as well.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nioka Lee Sowards, please visit our floral store.

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