Roy Lee Owen

December 22, 1936 ~ July 24, 2020 (age 83)


Roy Lee Owen, 83, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather peacefully passed away on July 24, 2020 at VITAS Hospice, Naples, Florida.

He was born December 22, 1936 to Claude and Mabel (Borders) Owen in Rossville, IL.  He grew up in Gary, IN and graduated from Horace Mann High School.  He attended Saint Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa and received a Bachelor’s degree.  Roy also received Master Degrees from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College and Chicago State University. At St. Ambrose Roy was an exceptional athlete and was named as a Collegiate Catholic School All-American football player. Immediately after college, Roy was named as the head track coach at his alma mater, Saint Ambrose College.  Roy continued to teach and coach for 15 years at St. Ambrose. He took a small track and field program with little resources and shaped it into a competitive power in the region, often defeating larger and more prominent programs. Roy was inducted into St. Ambrose’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979.  In a gracious gesture, a group of his former track and field athletes joined together to have the St. Ambrose coach’s room at the new St. Ambrose University indoor track and field facility named after him in 2018. 

In 1973, Roy and Roxanne moved to Munster, Indiana with their four children.  From 1973 – 2002 Roy taught, coached and was Dean of Students at Thornton Fractional South and North High Schools in Illinois. Despite his teaching and coaching duties, Roy spent a great deal of time with his wife and four children.  Spending hours with his family, going to the beach, playing, coaching them in sports, and most importantly just making time for his family. Later in life, he became grandfather/Pa to four grandchildren.  As he did with his own children, he spent countless hours playing, teaching, and loving each one.

Roy is survived by his wife of 63 years, Roxanne (Simons), his four children, Roy Owen, Boca Raton, Vince (Nancy) Owen, Coral Springs, Suzanne (Billy) Eytel, Naples, John Owen, Knoxville, and his four grandchildren, Malia, Samantha, Alexzandria “Zan”, and Brody; two brothers and a sister; Lewis “Winny” Owen, Larry (Rose) Owen and Marcia (James) Beddingfield. He is preceded in death by his parents.

One would really have to had spent some time with Roy to understand what a good and principled person he was.  Most people would describe him as giving to a fault, playful, intelligent, witty and very loving. But we think in the end his family would say he was the one person that always made us feel “safe”.  We love you, husband, dad, Pa you will always be in our hearts!

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