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William "Bill" David Owens Obituary

William David Owens 1934-2022

Bill Owens, 87, returned to his heavenly home on July 20,2022.

Bill was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Alvia and Mildred Owens, during The Great Depression. He was the youngest of three siblings and, although they didn’t have a lot, they didn’t need a lot. Somehow they had clothes to wear even if they were crafted from old bus uniforms, and there was always food on the table, including watermelon rind preserves and vinegar pie. As a boy, Bill was happy, filthy from playing in the dirt, and loved.

In 1950, Bill moved to Portland with his aunt, uncle and cousin. He finished his junior and senior years at Grant High school, where he lettered on the track and cross-country teams, placing individually in State and with the medley relay, which he anchored. Bill was awarded a track scholarship to the University of Portland. During his four years at college, Bill was in the Air Force ROTC and the drill team. He was named Outstanding Freshman Cadet and won the junior and senior leadership awards. Bill served as Drill Team Commander and Cadet Wing Commander. At graduation, he was awarded AFROTC Distinguished Graduate honors, Senior Leadership honors, and honored in the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.

After graduation in 1956, Bill served as an Air Force Supply Officer and was stationed at Itazuke Air Base on the small island of Mishima in the Sea of Japan. He was also responsible for Boat Detail, which included checking on remote sites and delivering payroll to multiple islands by helicopter.

In 1959, Bill returned from overseas and married his high school sweetheart, Joanne Merrick. They lived at McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington for two years. In 1961, Bill was honorably discharged and he began his 46-year career in sales and marketing for Jantzen, Ford Industries Code-A-Phone, A-Dec Dental Supplies, and in real estate.

Bill and Joanne had three daughters, Sally, Jackie and Jeanette. In 1994, Bill’s wife died of cancer. A few years after her death, Bill met and married Anne Swenson. They spent 23 years together, enjoying time in both their Arizona and Damascus homes.

Bill is survived by his wife Ann, three daughters, two stepsons, 12 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and brother Earl. His wife Joanne, grandson Ben, and sister Mary preceded him in death.

In lieu of flowers contributions to Seminarian Appeal for Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon is appreciated. Gifts may be made online at or by check payable to Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon (with notation for Seminarian Appeal) and mailed to Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, PO Box 15149, Portland OR 97293.


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