Mr. William E. “Bill” Owens, Jr.

Published 4:50 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Mr. William E. “Bill” Owens, Jr. of Lanett went to his rest on April 18, 2022, in Valley.

Mr. Owens was preceded in death by his wife and love of his life, Janice Watson Owens; his parents, William E. “Ed” Owens, Sr. and Maggie Lee King Owens; his sister, Barbara Lee Posey; his half-brother, Robert Owens; and his children, Kathryn Melvyn Owens and William E. (Bill) Owens, III.

He is survived by his daughters, Debra Lea Duffield (Don) and Danna Beck (Neil); his granddaughters, Devon Owens and Kathryn Anne Duffield; and his daughter-in-law, Sonya Owens, as well as several nieces and nephews.

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Born Dec. 24, 1937, in Langdale, Bill and his twin sister, Barbara, were Christmas gifts to his parents. A graduate of Lanett High School, he went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps, stationed primarily in Okinawa. While he may have left the Marines, family and friends know that he lived by the adage, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Upon his return, he attended Auburn University, and after graduation, he began working for West Point Pepperell, retiring after 48 years of service.

He contributed to his community in numerous ways. A member of the Valley Jaycees, he went on to serve as president and chairman of the board, he was a founding member of the Lanett Quarterback club, he served as president of the Lanett Band Boosters, he was president of several Lanett School P.T.Os. and he served as the official timekeeper for multiple Lanett High School sports programs. Bill was a member of the Lanett First United Methodist Church, serving as chairman of the board of trustees and as a member of its administrative committee. Elected twice, he was particularly proud of his time on the Lanett City Council, where he served as finance councilman, drafted the city’s first personnel policy, served four years as Lanett’s police committee chairman and was instrumental in the construction and financing of W.O. Lance Elementary School.

At age 79, he began taking piano lessons from Dr. Katie Cartwright, who brightened his retirement. He often questioned his abilities but never her teaching. His love of music led him to support the music program at Point University, which recently named a piano lab in his honor.

Special friends include Melvyn and Alice Roquemore, godparents to his children. The family would like to thank Melvyn for his regular phone calls to talk Auburn sports; they invariably perked up his day. The family would also like to thank Gail Anthony for the friendship and companionship they shared in recent years.

Additional thanks go to Amber Griggs and all the staff and residents at Valley Park Manor for welcoming him and making him feel loved and at home. A special thank you to Val Maddox and Misty Harrelson and all the health care professionals at Chattahoochee Hospice. The family is appreciative of the care and compassion shown to our father and to us while in hospice care.

A family graveside service was held on Friday, April 22 at 2 p.m. EST at Resthaven Cemetery. A public memorial service was held on Sunday, May 1 at 2 p.m. EST at First United Methodist Church in Lanett with visitation following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lanett First United Methodist Church or Chattahoochee Valley Hospice.

Please visit Mr. Owens’ memorial tribute page at www.johnsonbrownservicefh.com to leave a condolence for his family, to share a memory of Mr. Owens or to light a remembrance candle in his memory.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley directing.