Rev. James Carroll “Jim” Owens, 78, of Festus died Aug. 10, 2019, at Mercy Hospital Jefferson in Crystal City. Rev. Owens was born May 22, 1941, in Alicia, Ark., the son of the late Willis and Ruby (Byrd) Owens. He attended Walnut Ridge High School before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. Shortly after moving to Jefferson County in 1965, he answered a call to the Gospel ministry, preaching at several local churches and serving as interim pastor at Oak Grove Baptist Church from 1972-1977 and at Bethlehem Baptist in 1978. He worked at the former River Cement for nearly 22 years, and was a member of Sandy Baptist Church in Hillsboro. He served as a chaplain for JMH Hospice and was an on-call chaplain for Mercy Hospital Jefferson, a ministry he continued up until his death. He was a licensed funeral director and staff chaplain for Mahn Funeral Home and was a member of the Missouri Funeral Directors Association and the Mount Zion Cemetery Board.
He was a member of the Festus Rotary Club and a past member of Festus-Crystal City Elks Lodge 1721, where he served as chaplain from 2007-2010. He was awarded All State Chaplain by the Missouri Elks Association in the Ritualistic Contest in 2008 and competed in the National Ritualistic Contest in Anaheim, Calif., in 2009. He was a member of the Herculaneum AMVETS Post 42, serving as chaplain since 2011; of Festus American Legion Post 253; and was chaplain to the AMVET Riders since 2011 and the American Legion Riders since 2010.
The Rev. Owens was a jack-of-all-trades and never backed away from a challenge. He loved to travel, especially to Branson, and was a strong supporter of veterans causes. He also was an animal lover and a strong advocate for animal rights, animal rescue and adoption. He never met a stranger and was always quick to tell a good joke badly.
He took his ministerial role seriously and made himself always available those in need of prayer and spiritual guidance, as well as officiating at numerous weddings and funeral services throughout the years.
He is survived by his wife: Donna K. Owens of Festus; three children: James Willis Owens of Festus, Melissa (Christopher Steib) Owens of Hillsboro and Dustin E. (Elizabeth) Hawkins of St. Louis; five grandchildren: Faith Christina Steib, Devon Michael Owens, Mikalah Ann Owens, Jordan Michael Owens and Lauren James Hawkins; a brother: Ben (Dixie) Owens of Jonesboro, Ark.; a sister: Kay (the late Al) Grossman of Phoenix, Ariz.; his mother-in-law: Catherine Mahn of De Soto, a sister-in-law: Kathy Shelley of Festus; a brother-in-law: Todd (Rita) Mahn of Festus; several nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and numerous other relatives, friends and neighbors; and his beloved pets: Ranger the Labrador retriever, Elwood the cat and Aria the horse.
He was preceded in death by his first wife: Sandra (Willis) Owens; and a brother-in-law: Al Grossman.
Visitation is scheduled from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, and from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at Mahn Twin City Chapel, 515 Collins Dr., in Festus. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at the funeral home, officiated by Pastor Jimmy Turner and Chaplain Dennis Heck officiating. A eulogy will be offered by family members, followed by full military honors. Private burial will be in the Sandy Baptist Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Camp Hope for Veterans, P.O. Box 52, Farmington, 63640; or to Longmeadow Rescue Ranch, 480 Joseph’s Road, Union, 63084. Arrangements are under the direction of Mahn Twin City Chapel.