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Helen Irene Owen

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Helen Irene Cavins Owen

NEWARK: Helen Irene Cavins Owen, of Newark, passed away May 28, 2014.

Helen Cavins was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 8, 1918. She graduated from Ohio State University in 1940 where she met her husband, Ferris Owen, of Newark. They were married in October of that year. Ferris managed the Owen Potato Farm, which later became known as the Berry Barn. Ferris died in Newark in August 2005.

During her time in Newark, Helen was active as a Red Cross swim instructor, 4H and Girl Scout leader, and in the Second Presbyterian Church. She received the Woman of the Year Award in 2008 for her 73 years of service in the church. The couple also hosted a Foreign Affairs Discussion Group in their home for many years.

Helen and Ferris left Newark for Washington DC in 1965 where he became Global Projects Vice President of the Cooperative League of the USA, establishing agricultural cooperatives in underdeveloped countries. Helen worked in real estate, volunteered with the National Presbyterian Church and studied economics at American University during their years in Washington. Ferris traveled to 77 countries for his work and Helen accompanied him on many of those trips. India was by far her favorite. During this time they created a lakeside retreat in Deep Creek MD where the family still gathers.

They returned to Newark in 1987, not to retire, but to pursue their many passions. Helping the underprivileged here and abroad, traveling in their RV, dancing (they belonged to waltz clubs in both Newark and DC), and enjoying their family.

Helen loved music, especially playing the piano. She even created a musical. She also loved to read - economics, religion, mysteries - and wrote a novel. She was a creative cook; with what looked like little effort she fed a family of six and hosted dinners for 20 or more. If you had a house she would redesign it for you. And she created three of her own.

One and all were welcomed into her home. And she felt equally free to drop in on those she had entertained.

She is missed by her four children: Gwen Gritton (Gene), Barbara Flack (John), Jim Owen (Martha) and Sue Hupp (Ray); plus 11 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, three great great grandsons; and her sister, Virginia Cavins Corzine (Bill).

A memorial service is planned for 2:00 pm on July 12 at the Second Presbyterian Church in Newark. Suggestions for memorial gifts are the Alzheimer's Foundation, CARE and the Second Presbyterian Church.
Published in the The Advocate on July 6, 2014
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