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Evelyn Owen


1920 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Evelyn Owen Obituary
Owen, Evelyn
1920 - 2018
Evelyn Cleo (Larson) Owen, age 98, died March 13, 2018 at Delaware Court Care Center, Delaware, Ohio. A charter member of the Greatest Generation, Evelyn and twin sister Beatrice were born in Stephen (Marshall County) Minnesota, the daughters of Ludovic Larson and Gunda Moe. The oldest of six children, which included two sets of twins, they were, by all accounts, mischievous. Life was not that easy during Minnesota winters where 40 below zero is common. Through the great Depression, the family farm provided most of the food. An orange for Christmas was a real treat. After graduating from Thief River High School Evelyn received her teacher training at Bimidji State College. Her first assignment was a one-room schoolhouse in Marshall County teaching first through eighth grades. Evelyn would arrive early to light the wood burning stove to heat the classroom. Of course, she cut the wood too. She would use the stove to cook lunchtime soup for the children. When World War II came, Evelyn joined the Lutheran Social Services and moved to Dayton, Ohio. She assisted in the Overlook Homes neighborhood where homes were constructed for workers at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. She walked door to door to visit families, usually wearing paper shoes because of rationing to conserve resources for the war effort. She met her husband William, a WWII veteran, and they would be married 57 years with three children. Both Evelyn and twin Beatrice were blessed with sets of twins. After the war, Evelyn resumed her teaching career in Dayton in the Mad River local school district near Springfield and earned her Bachelor's Degree from Wittenberg University. Evelyn wanted to help students with special needs, and she became a pioneer in teaching what came to be known as "special education." Educators from around Ohio would visit Evelyn's classroom to observe her techniques (magic) in educating her students, some with serious behavioral problems. In the early 1960's Evelyn taught in the Huber Heights (Wayne Twp.) School District north of Dayton. She retired after 30 years of teaching, but was elected to the Board of Education the following year. During her career at Wayne, Evelyn's writings in the areas of special education and the institutional discrimination of women ignited change in the recognition of women in the teaching workforce. This is evidenced by the many students and co-workers who paid tribute to Evelyn on her 90th birthday. Evelyn was predeceased by her parents Ludovic and Gunda, husband William, as well as her sisters Beatrice Boyum and Dorothy Cornelius, brothers Lowell, Orville and Donny Larson, daughter Mary Beth and son-in-law Leopoldo Lovelace. She is survived by her daughters, Faith Harper (Tom) and Sonja Lovelace; son, William (Carol O'Brien); 4 grandchildren; and 4 great grandchildren. Arrangements by RUTHERFORD-CORBIN FUNERAL HOME, 515 High St. Worthington, Ohio. The family will greet visitors from 11 a.m.-1 pm Saturday, March 17 with service to follow. Interment Monday at Glen Haven Memorial Gardens, New Carlisle, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Voicecorp Reading Services for the sight impaired, 2955 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43204.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Mar. 15, 2018
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