Joan Owens (1923 - 2018)

6 entries
  • "Joe, Jim, John, Jeff: We are sad to learn of Joan's..."
    - JoJo Blackburn
  • "My sincere condolences. May our heavenly Father, the God of..."
  • "I am so sorry for your loss. It's never easy losing a loved..."
  • "My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family. May you find..."
  • "Joan was a very strong lady in all parts of her life..."
    - Ward & Mary Ann Harriman
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Joan Owens, age 94, passed peacefully from this world on Feb. 24, 2018.
Joan was born in Overbrook, Kan., on April 18, 1923, to Joe and Myrtle Coffman. The Town of Overbrook was co-founded by her grandfather, William Taylor Coffman, and J. B. Fairchild in 1886. Joan graduated from the original Overbrook High School in 1940, where she was selected Homecoming Queen in her senior year. She then attended Kansas State Technical College in Emporia, where she earned her teaching certificate. She taught all grades in the Osage 31 Kempsey one-room school house in 1942-43. The next year she returned to school at Washburn University, graduating in 1946.
Joan married Billy Lee Owens of Topeka, Kan., in 1948, and they had four sons together. Bill was an electrical engineer and worked his way up to Power Plant Manager for Kansas Power and Light. Looking for adventure Bill took a job in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1964, following the Great Alaska Earthquake, to work on rebuilding the area's power infrastructure. While Bill went ahead to begin work, Joan packed up the house and then drove herself and four young sons on the 3,500-mile trip up the Alcan Highway, beginning an awesome adventure. At that time approximately 1,000 miles of the highway remained unpaved, and Joan went on to make the Kansas/Alaska drive five more times in her lifetime.
In Alaska, Joan began a career of public service volunteering for the Salvation Army, Anchorage Visitor's Bureau and Women's Auxiliary. Through her volunteerism she became a fixture at Alaska Regional Hospital, where she served for more than 23 years. In addition, Joan worked for the State of Alaska Public Assistance Program until she retired. She was also very active in local politics and ran her local election precinct for more than 30 years. Joan loved living in Alaska and remained living there until 2016, when she relocated to Las Vegas, Nev., to be closer to family.
Joan was preceded in death by her brother, John; and husband, Bill. She is survived by a loving family described in her words as "four wonderful sons, four wonderful daughters-in-law, four wonderful grandchildren and two wonderful great-grandchildren." Her family includes son, Joe (Christine) Owens; and grandchildren, Nick (girlfriend Kayla) Owens and Jennifer (Ed) Parvin; and great-grandchildren, Savalla and Clarke Parvin; son, Jim (Mavis) Owens; son, John (Teresa) Owens; and son, Jeff (Wendy) Owens and grandchildren, Will and Ali.
Following her wish, Joan will be interred along with her extended family in the Overbrook Cemetery established by her grandfather. A service is planned in Overbrook later in the spring.
The family requests that memorial donations be sent to: Alaska Regional Hospital Auxiliary, P.O Box 141824, Anchorage, AK 99514.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Mar. 16 to Mar. 18, 2018
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