Kenneth Dean Owen
January 27, 1943 – November 4, 2019
Ken was born in Omaha, Nebraska and passed away unexpectedly in Longmont, Colorado. His father and mother were Dean Morton Owen and Betty Lou (Beiersdorf) Owen.
Ken's family moved to Oregon when he was very young and attended Centennial High School in Gresham, Oregon. As a boy he developed a love of sailing while learning to sail on the Columbia River. He also enjoyed skiing and hiking and was a member of the Mount Hood, Oregon ski patrol.
He attended the University of Oregon in Eugene where he majored in oceanography. Ken appreciated the challenge and mystery of all aspects of science, especially geology, physics and astrology. He also studied Russian in college and later in life studied Spanish.
Ken enlisted in the Marines after attending officer training and graduating from college in 1966. He attended boot camp in North Carolina and flight training in Pensacola, Florida ultimately serving in the Vietnam war as a fighter pilot flying the F-4. He was honorably discharged in December 1970.
He moved to Longmont, Colorado, with his wife Trudy, where he started his aviation career and his two daughters were born. Initially he was an airplane instructor and helicopter pilot. After several years, his first major airline job was with Hawaiian Air Cargo where he flew an Electra Lockheed plane throughout the US carrying military freight.
Ken’s next, and first commercial passenger airline, job was with New York Air where he was based out of New York. As a captain he flew DC-9s and MD-80s. He became a captain with Continental airlines when the company merged with New York Air. He was then based out of Denver.
He became an instructor for Continental based out of Houston after a health incident. After a 9-month period he was able to re-qualify to fly and became a captain based out of Newark flying the Boeing 777 on international flights until he retired in 2003.
Ken’s military and commercial flying and his interest in world travel took him to all areas of the globe, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Israel, Japan, most large European cities and more.
He loved the ocean and especially enjoyed scuba diving in the waters near Mexico and Hawaii. Over the years he continued to expand his sailing skills. He took sailing classes in Florida and sailed there and in the Mediterranean.
Ken also had a love of trains originating from his experiences with his paternal grandfather who was a train engineer. He enjoyed collecting model trains and was an enthusiastic student of the history of steam engines around the world.
One of the things closest to his heart was the Rocky Mountains where he was able to continue to enjoy skiing, hiking and nature. He spent many years as a Poudre Wilderness Volunteer. After his retirement he spent many summers hiking the Glacier Basin area with Debby Schifferns, his life partner of 14 years.
In these later years he also enjoyed staying closer to the ground taking numerous road trips with Debby. They enjoyed the mountains, deserts, plains and coasts of most of the western states and Canada.
When not on the road he enjoyed developing his beautiful garden landscape, harvesting fruit and vegetables, feeding the neighborhood birds and squirrels, caring for his three much-loved cats, and exploring new realms on the internet.
He loved to learn about and experience all aspects of life, most especially the spiritual nature of all things. From his travels he found that no matter the country kindness was the basic nature of all people. Grounded in this understanding and given his deeply accepting nature he found great pleasure in meeting new people and helping anybody in need of assistance.
Ken is survived by his life partner Debby Schifferns, two daughters Sally Noltemeyer & Jennifer Owen and Sally's three daughters Leah, Josie and Everly, his brothers Robert Owen and Terry Owen, his sister Susie Harvey and her son and daughter Jon and Molly, and his mother Betty Owen. He will be missed very much.
In lieu of flowers a donation to the Fort Collins Cat Rescue or a local humane society would be appreciated.
- No services are scheduled at this time