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August 18, 2019

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Preview Entry
August 18, 2019

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch.
August 17, 2019
It was my good fortune to have Bill and Eileen as my neighbors in Indy for 32 years. I was relocated to Indy in fall '86 and in June '87 on a Sunday afternoon, I was in the backyard when Eileen called me over to the fence and introduced Bill -- then told me they were planning to get married. They honeymooned at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, where the lilacs were over 20' tall and blooming in early July.
Over the next few years, I gradually discovered what an extraordinary human being I had for a neighbor. We would get together once a week or so and discuss everything under the sun, some of it current and some of it historical. When Bill found out I had been a math major at KU, we would sometimes discuss some of the calculus problems he remembered from his engineering studies at Ohio State, and of course we kept track of how the two schools were doing in sports. He was a very loyal alumnus and always watched the Buckeyes when they were on TV.
Eventually Bill told me about the book Bombs Away! which his bombing crew from WWII had written (with some help from Bill) back in the 70's and gave me an autographed copy. It is a remarkable book which I quickly came to value and have let some of the others in my family read. Besides all of the details about how his crew came together and their experiences in England and the bombing missions, one thing I will always remember is the powdered eggs. Usually they had scrambled eggs for breakfast made from these powdered eggs, but on mornings when they left for bombing missions over Germany, they got 2 real eggs for breakfast. In the late 40's, my parents had used these powdered eggs for a while but I had completely forgotten about them and had no idea they were army surplus.
As Bill got older, I was amazed how well his body and his mind held up. Even going into his early 90's, he would get up on those long ladders to clean out the gutters at the top of the 2nd floor. This made me a little uneasy and he eventually let someone else do it, but he continued to drive to Columbus and back.
I could write a book about all those years Bill was my neighbor, but the bottom line is that he was an exceptional human being by any measure. After I moved back to Kansas last fall, we touched bases over the phone occasionally, so I knew he had physical problems, but his spirit was always there.
Bill had told me several times about Jackie's music fund at the church -- he obviously considered it very important so I am making a donation as a memorial.
I will always be grateful for having known Bill. Paul Dean Ross
July 22, 2019
Ann and family, my sympathies to you on the loss of your father and grandfather. I loved the stories of his life. All my best Stephen Manos
July 20, 2019
So many great memories of both Bill and Jackie as I read his obituary. Jackie was a dear friend in the First Congregational Choir, and Bill was my landlord in Worthington for 11 years. During that time he was a treasured friend to both my young son and me - never to be forgotten.
My love goes out to his wonderful family.
July 19, 2019
I met "Mr. Owen" in the summer of 1986 and have been happy to call him friend since that time. Later he became friend to my husband and sons as well. Always pleasant, with interesting things to talk about, whether it was about his own war time aviation experiences or something he was reading about or doing, and he showed interest in what we were doing as well. We will greatly miss him. It has been fun and a great privilege to know Mr. Owen!
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