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John M. Nowell III, April 11, 1951 — June 6, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013 | 4:41 p.m. CDT; updated 6:10 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 22, 2013

John M. Nowell, III, of Columbia, died peacefully at home of natural causes on Thursday, June 6, 2013. He was 62 years old.

A celebration of John’s life will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Boone County Museum and Galleries, 3801 Ponderosa St. Private burial services were held on June 11, 2013, at Columbia Cemetery.

Mr. Nowell was born April 11, 1951, in Columbia to John M. (Jack) Nowell, Jr. and Ruth E. Johnson Nowell.

He attended University of Missouri Laboratory School from kindergarten through the 12th grade, and was President of the Senior Class of 1969. During his college years, he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. In 1972, Mr. Nowell joined his father in running the family business, Nowell’s Foods, Inc. John was the fourth generation of his family to work in the grocery trade, which was established in Columbia in 1876 by his great-grandfather, William Byron (W.B.) Nowell. With John’s passing, a 127 year Columbia legacy comes to an end.

Mr. Nowell had a wide variety of interests during his life. He was front and center when the American music industry was swept by the British Invasion in the 60’s, introducing the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and many other great bands to this country. This was the beginning of his life-long love affair with collecting LPs, 45s, 8-track and cassette tapes, CDs, and other musical memorabilia. With his sharp memory and attention to detail, John could tell you nearly anything about an artist or album in his collection.

Being a child of the 60’s, Mr. Nowell was also enamored with the classic cars of that era. He enjoyed restoring Chevrolet cars in particular. He was an active member of the National Corvette Restorers Society, and, in later years, joined the local Old Wheels Collector Car Club.

With his family so deeply rooted in the Columbia area, John took great interest in researching his family’s history and the history of Boone County. During the 1970’s, he was actively involved in restoring the historic Maplewood House in Nifong Park. More recently, he served on the Board of Directors for Boone County Historical Society. Mr. Nowell was also a supporter of Columbia Cemetery.

John was always concerned with pet over-population, and advocated for the spaying and neutering of companion animals. He loved cats in particular, both wild and domestic. During a trip to Africa and Egypt with his father in the early 1990’s, John discovered the Abyssinian cat breed, which dates back thousands of years. Once home, he began adopting “Abys”, usually having four at a time - one of each color - red, ruddy, blue and fawn. They were his devoted companions for many years, each being named for characters in his favorite Beatles songs.

Mr. Nowell was preceded in death by his father, his mother, and his step-mother, Barbara Courtright Lammers Nowell.

He is survived by three sisters, Faye Nowell of Columbia, Mary Nowell (Wayne) Namerow of Poughkeepsie, NY and Katherine (Dan) Tindall of Grinnell, IA, and one brother, Jon (Jacki) Lammers of Kansas City, MO. Six nieces and nephews, several cousins and his beloved Abyssinian cats - Mr. Mustard, Lovely Rita, and Penny Lane - also survive.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to No Kill Columbia, P.O. Box 492; Columbia Cemetery, 30 E. Broadway; and Boone County Historical Society, 3801 Ponderosa St., all located in Columbia Missouri.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.parkerfuneralservice.com.


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