Betty Jane Owen, age 91, passed peacefully into Glory and into the presence of her Savior on Thursday Jan. 23, 2014. She was a lady who loved her Lord, her husband, her family and served them with unselfish devotion all of her days.
She was born July 26, 1922 in Springfield, Ill., spending her childhood and youth there. She graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree from Springfield Community College and spent one year at the University of Wisconsin, Madison after which she left to marry her high school sweetheart and love of her life, Lynn Walter Owen junior, who predeceased her in April, 2011.
On Jan. 29, 1944, she and Lynn married in Corpus Christi, Texas, and were married for 67 years. They moved to Panama City in 1949 after Lynn accepted a civil service appointment at the Naval Coastal Systems Center there. Betty was a constant support to Lynn in his work and community service. She also became active in serving her community as a new resident. After Lynn's retirement, they spent 32 years together enjoying life, their adult children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Betty was a member of First United Methodist Church for 60 years serving as a Sunday School teacher, President of the United Methodist Women, Chair of the Naomi Circle, President of the Wesley Bible Class and a member of the Administrative Board.
She was active in her children's lives and activities, serving as PTA President, Brownie and Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Den Mother and supporting them in all their endeavors.
Betty is best remembered for her servant's heart as evidenced by her many years of service to the community through her membership in the GFWC Woman's Club of Panama City. As a club member she served on the Board of Directors, was a past president and a member of the Conservation Department. She was a life member and in 2012 received her 50 year pin. In addition to her 50 plus years as a member, she also was a past president of the Junior Woman's Club of Panama City. She continued to serve in an advisory role to the leadership of the club until she was 90 years old.
Survivors include her children John and Elizabeth Owen Taggart, Charlottesville, Va., George and Deborah Owen Baril, Panama City Beach, Fla., Lynn and Dianne Goigel Owen, Orlando, Fla., Pamela Pipkin Owen, Panama City, Fla. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, Mitch and Wyndsor Taggart Hug, Charlottesville, Va., Jay and Amy Taggart, Charlottesville, Va., Lynn Owen Taggart, Washington, DC, Christopher and Anna Taggart Lewis, Cleveland, Ohio, Sarah Day Owen, Des Moines, Iowa, Christopher Lynn Owen, Luke Walter Owen, Kurt Benjamin Owen, Orlando, Fla., and Abigail Diane Owen, Panama City, Fla.; and five great-grandchildren, Jack and Hailey Taggart, Charlottesville, Va., Izabella and Nico Hug, Charlottesville, Va.; and Charles Bullitt Lewis, Cleveland, Ohio.
Friends are welcome for visitation at Southerland Family Funeral Home, 100 East 19th Street, Panama City, Fla., on Monday, January 27th from 6-8 p.m.
The service will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 28th, at the First United Methodist Church. Interment will be immediately following the service at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, Highway 231 North.
Pallbearers will be her five grandsons and great-grandson, Jack. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of the Wesley Bible Class and members of the GFWC Woman's Club of Panama City.
Memorial contributions in Betty's memory may be made to the building fund of First United Methodist Church 903 East Fourth Street, Panama City, Fla. 32401.
Expressions of sympathy may be submitted or viewed at www.southerlandfamily.com
100 E. 19th St.
Panama City, Fla. 32405
Panama City - Panama City
100 East 19th Street Panama City, FL 32405
Published in Panama City News Herald on Jan. 26, 2014