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John Owens

OWENS John C. Owens ("Johnny"), beloved husband of 59 years of Mary Crafton Owens ("Tootsie"), passed away on Sunday, Oct 7, 2012. Born on March 28, 1927, he was the son of the late John D. and Grace Creed Owens. From 1944 to 1946, Johnny proudly served in the United States Army Air Corps in Italy. While serving, he developed his love of flying, which he kept throughout his life, owning a number of airplanes. Johnny graduated from the University of Kentucky with honors and a B.S. degree in Commerce in 1950. He practiced as a CPA in Lexington for 25 years and served as VP/Controller with National Mines Corp. for six years. During his career, Johnny helped organize the Bank of Lexington. He was also a member of the KY Society of CPA's and the American Institute of CPA's. He is a past president of the UK National Alumni Assn., a former board member of the UK Athletics Assn., the UK Development Council and the Lexington Rotary Club. He was also a member of Idle Hour Country Club and Quail Ridge Country Club, a former member of Lexington Country Club and the Iroquois Hunt Club. During his time at UK, he fell in love with Tootsie at first sight when he saw her walking down the stairs at the Phoenix Hotel. The couple married on April 24, 1953, setting an amazing example of love and dedication for their family. Tootsie and Johnny shared a happy life full of travels, laughter and spirituality with their three children, John Robert "Bobby" (Debbie) Owens, Mary Creed (David) Cunningham and Martha Owens (Bobby) Trussell. Later in life, Johnny welcomed his five grandchildren, Ashley Owens (Chapman) Hopkins, Meredith Owens (Webb) Milward, Anne Downey Trussell, Robert Browning Trussell III and Emily Crafton Trussell. Johnny's family will forever remember him as a humble, kind and dedicated husband, father and grandfather. Johnny's passion was also one of his greatest gifts, his golf game. Widely renowned as the best amateur player ever from Kentucky, his love of golf shaped his life. He played on the Henry Clay H.S. and UK golf teams. While at Henry Clay, he won the high school championship two times and at UK, won the Southeastern Conference Individual Championship, the only one from KY to ever accomplish that. During his golf career, he won the KY State Amateur twice, ten Lexington City Championships, the Queen City Open, a PGA tour event, the KY Senior Amateur Championship four times, and 35 club championship tournaments at three different clubs. On a national level, he qualified and played in the 1964 Masters, two USGA Opens, seven USGA Amateurs, two Western Opens, the British Amateur, the USGA Senior Open, six USGA Senior Amateurs, four British Senior Amateurs and three Canadian Senior Amateurs. He won the 1984 British Senior Amateur. Golf Magazine ranked him as the 16th Best Amateur in the United States in 1963 and the 9th Best Senior Amateur in 1983. As an invited member of the USGA Int'l. Team, Johnny played six times in the Devonshire Cup matches against Canada and seven times in the Derby Cup Triangular matches against Canada and England. On two occasions, he was honored to serve as playing Captain of the Int'l. Team. Johnny dedicated himself to making the game of golf great for all those who play. He served as coach of the UK golf team for 7 years. He also served as a board member and past president of the Southern Golf Assn., KY Golf Assn., Tri-State Golf Assn. and the Larry Gilbert Foundation. He was a founding member of the Society of Seniors. In 1986, Johnny was inducted into the KY Golf Hall of Fame. In 1997, he received the American Seniors Golf Assn. Distinguished Senior Award. Most recently, surrounded by his proud family at each ceremony, Johnny was inducted into the Southern Golf Assn. Hall of Fame (2005), UK Sports Hall of Fame (2008) and the KY Golf Association named its amateur player of the year award after him in 2011. Visitation 5-8pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at Milward - Broadway. Funeral services at 2pm, Thursday, October 11, 2012 at the Cathedral of Christ the King. Burial in the Lexington Cemetery. Memorials to Cathedral of Christ the King, 299 Colony Blvd., Lexington, KY 40502 or the Larry Gilbert Foundation, 3403 Kearney Road, Lexington, KY 40511. www.milwardfuneral.com


Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on Oct. 10, 2012
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