Rev. Robert Sanford Owens Jr.
July 1, 1930 – June 21, 2020
The Rev. Robert Sanford Owens, Jr. (Bob) — Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and pastor passed away on June 21, 2020, at his home in Charlotte, NC. The son of the late Augusta Vance Foree and Robert S. Owens, Sr. (and stepfather Elmer Foree) was a graduate of Columbia Military Academy, Kentucky Wesleyan College, and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
While a student at Kentucky Wesleyan, he met the love of his life, Norma June Koshewa. They married September 2, 1951, and shared a life of ministry which took them around the world. They served congregations in Kentucky, North Carolina (Plaza Presbyterian Church, Charlotte), Texas, and Hawaii, and following his retirement in 1993, Rev. Owens completed nine interim pastorates in California, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Beaconsfield, England (UK).
He is survived by his beloved wife Norma; daughter Jan Thomas (Susan Segars); daughter Julie Owens (Ron Atteberry); son Robert Owens (Cindy Weber); daughter Melissa Owens (Rachael Loving); and daughter Amy Breshears (Bryan Fey). He is predeceased by a son-in-law, James Breshears.
Bob and Norma were blessed with five grandchildren: Chris Thomas (Stephanie), Joshua Owens, Dylan and Jesse (Joe) Weber-Owens, and Noah Owens Loving; and two great-grandchildren, Anna and Emi Thomas.
His family will remember him most fondly for his unconditional love and devotion to them, his irrepressible sense of humor, compassion, and generous spirit. He lived his life with exceptional dedication to his family and his work as a pastor, teacher, biblical scholar, writer, and prophetic voice against family violence. He touched countless people’s lives as a pastor and as a friend to all he met.
An online memorial page with sermons, Bob’s written memoirs, family photos, and other remembrances may be found at bobowensmemorial.com.
A private service of committal was held on Friday, June 26, 2020, with the Rev. Edward Henegar presiding. A virtual celebration of life is being planned, and a celebration of life and memorial service will be held at Plaza Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC, dates yet to be determined. Rev. Owens’ remains will be interred with beloved family members in New Castle, KY.
Those wishing to make a memorial gift are encouraged to consider donating to CLOUT, 1113 S. Fourth St., Louisville, KY 40203 (a social justice ministry in Louisville, KY established by son Robert), or Choices, Inc., 419 S. Shelby St., Louisville, KY 40202 (providing housing to homeless women and families, including "Norma’s House," named in honor of wife Norma); more information on both organizations here (bobowensmemorial.com).
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Rev. Robert Sanford Owens Jr.
Diane Miller Keever
June 29, 2020
Bob Owens was one of the finest men I have ever known. My parents, Gallant & Govanna Miller loved him dearly and I know they are greeting each other in heaven and having many laughs. To the family, I am so sorry for your loss, but he has surely won the battle! Praise God for men and ministers like him. I know he will be missed.
June 27, 2020
Although I never had the pleasure of knowing Reverend Owens, I know that he deeply influenced the members and friends of Williams Memorial Presbyterian Church. Church members remarked about his and Norma's love for one another, Christ, their church, and for them. One member said that she loved hearing his stories when he preached and how he brought Scripture to life. She also remarked that his ministry was transformative, bringing hope to those who suffered oppression, particularly those were survivors of domestic violence.
"And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.’" -Mt 25:40
Reverend John-Nelson Pope
June 25, 2020
It was such a joy to get to know Bob a bit in the last few years. He never ran short of stories! I'm sure he is celebrating right now and I hope he meets my dad! They would enjoy talking to each other. I think about him seeing Ron's dad again and what a joy that must be. I'm sure he will be greatly missed by family and friends. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.
June 23, 2020
Robert, Cindy, Dylan, Joe, Ms. Norma, and family: we are so very sorry to hear of Bob's passing and are so grateful for a life well-lived. Bob's a one of a kind generous soul and was so very interested in the well-being of others, and we were honored to know him. I never had an encounter with him that he didn't exude warmth and love and he never failed to ask about our kids with genuine and authentic interest. His wisdom and wit and deep love for others defined him and made him unique. Condolences from us and may God provide comfort in the many memories you shared. Much love to you all.