Vernon "Gene" Owens
Published: January 26, 2013
Vernon Eugene "Gene" Owens slipped quietly away to meet his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, at home. Gene was born December 12, 1934 at the Bay Village Community in Poinsett County, Arkansas to Walter and Lottie Sheets Owens. He graduated from Vanndale High School in 1952.
Gene retired from the USAF in 1975 as a Technical Sergeant. He met the love of his life Gayle Mayhugh in Waco, Texas and they were married March 27, 1959. They were stationed at Eglin AFB in Florida where Gene served in a drone squadron, Edwards AFB, California where he worked on the X15 project, Keesler AFB, Mississippi, Andrews AFB, Maryland where he had the honor of marching in President Lyndon Johnson's inaugural parade, Viet Nam assigned to the US Army as an advisor, and finally Little Rock AFB where he was an electronics instructor. After his retirement from the Air Force he worked at Arkansas College of Technology as an electronics instructor and dean of education. He later served as Capitol Building Operations Manager for the Secretary of State.
Gene served ten years on the Pulaski County Quorum Court from 1983 to 1992. He ran for the State Senate in 1992 and was defeated in the Democratic Primary. Gene served as vice president of the Pulaski County Democratic Committee and was a member of the State Committee of the Democratic Party of Arkansas.
Gene loved his family and was happiest when surrounded by them. He loved to take them all on family vacations.
Gene was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of Jacinto Lodge #216. He twice served as Worthy Patron of Jacksonville Chapter Order of the Eastern Star Chapter 520. He also served as the Rainbow Dad for the Jacksonville Rainbow Assembly.
He is preceded in death by his parents Walter and Lottie Owens, his daughter Robin Janine Prine Sternweis Walker, his sister Helen Virginia Catlett and brother JB Owens. He is survived by his wife Gayle of 53 years and 10 months, his daughter Wendell "Wendy" Ann Burkart( Kevin) of Wichita, Kansas, one brother Landon Owens of Trumann, Ark., two granddaughters Tiffany Reel (Brian) of Jacksonville, Ark. and Tori Morris (Timmy) of Weiner Ark., one grandson, William Andrew Prine (Karen) of Sherwood, Ark.; seven great grandchildren: Avery Reel, Gabriel Reel. Madison Reel, Hunter Prine, Karrey Morris, Taylor Lee- Ann Morris and Dax Morris and several nieces and nephews.
Memorials can be made to The Robin Foundation at 6821 Haynie Rd. Jacksonville, Ark. 72076. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, January 28th, 2013 in the chapel of Griffin Leggett-Rest Hills Funeral Home, 7724 Landers Road, North Little Rock (501) 835-3515. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. The online obituary, guestbook, and memorial tribute are available at www.griffinleggettresthills.com.