OWENS, Norbert Eugene
Norbert Owens was born December 27, 1928, in Marceline, Missouri. The youngest child of Brookie and John Owens, Norbert (unlike brothers John Peter and Joseph Bernard, or sisters Mary Jane and Margie) was named by a group of Austrian nuns, who had helped Brookie during her hospital stay. Norbert's love of hands-on economics sometimes outweighed his duty to the textbook, as he would often cut classes to shoot pool, until the men at the billiard hall would call his father to say, 'John, come get your kid- he's cleaned us out again.'
Norbert worked for the railroad in Marceline, until he enlisted with the Air Force during the Korean War. He served as a tail-gunner aboard a B-29, and at a USO dance at Travis Air Force Base, he met 19-year-old Barbara Riley, whom he married at the age of 24. Upon his return from the war, he resumed his studies and earned his license as a CPA. He ran a successful practice on Riverside Boulevard for over 40 years, and continued his work as a financial advisor until his passing.
Norbert achieved most of the goals he pursued, and served as Student Body Vice-President for Golden Gate University in 1959, as well as President of the Society for California Accountants. He also belonged to both the South Sacramento Rotary and the Knights of Columbus, and ran the Sacramento Columbian Credit Union. It might surprise many to learn that Norbert had also been a enthusiastic square dancer- though his passions for amateur ham radio and the blackjack tables of Vegas were well-known. By far, his most outstanding accomplishment was his 60 years of marriage to his devoted wife, Barbara.
Norbert passed quietly in his home on January 17th following a lengthy illness, and is survived by his wife Barbara, his daughter Mary, his son Sean and his grandson Nicolas. He was a parishioner at Holy Spirit Church in Sacramento. His family and friends will miss him, and he will be toasted at many 'Happy Hours' to come.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Jan. 26, 2014.