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Obituary (MI): Russell M Owen '46

Posted on 08/08/2018

Russell "M" Owen November  (27, 1922 July 27, 2018)

Russell "M" Owen, age 95, passed away Friday July 27, 2018.  Russ died peacefully in his sleep. Russ is survived by his wife of 65 years, Patricia, son Jay of Sister Lakes MI, daughter Kay Foreman (Mark) of Nederland, CO, step grandchildren Elias and Meritt, niece Connie Mikkelson of Alma, WI and many friends. Russ was a life long athlete and educator.  He was born in Crosby Minnesota in 1922 and grew up in rural Wisconsin. He graduated from Mondovi Wisconsin High School in 1940 and in 1945 graduated from the US Naval Academy where he was a member of the varsity football and basketball teams.   While in the Navy, Russ received a CITATION for Meritorious Performance of Duty while serving aboard ship in the East China Sea. He later earned his PhD in educational finance with a minor in law at the University of Wisconsin.  Since then he applied his skills and influence throughout the US and abroad from Winona, MN  (Winona State College) where he was head football coach for 3 years, to academic positions in colleges and universities in Nebraska, Nigeria, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.  In 1981 Russ retired from his position of 10 years as President of Southwestern Michigan College. Russ met the love of his life, Pat, at a football game in Shawano Wisconsin in 1950 and was married in 1953.  Together they had a wonderful life made up of family, friends and many interesting adventures.  Probably the biggest adventure being in 1967 when Russ accepted a position to lead a teacher education project in Northern Nigeria. In retirement Russ and Pat traveled extensively and spent winters in Isla Mujeres Mexico and Marco Island Florida.  One of Russ's biggest passions in life was golfing.  He loved the game and he loved the camaraderie. He also loved music (Dixieland and music of the 40's) often blaring his record player for the neighborhood to hear.  Russ was a gregarious fellow and loved meeting people and learning about their lives and interests.  He has friends everywhere.  As a father he took great interest in Jay and Kay's lives and was always there to provide encouragement in whatever they pursued.  He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed. We are grateful for the care provided to Russ this past year by the staff at Caretel Inns Assisted Living in St Joseph, MI and to Hospice at Home. A visitation will be held in Russ' honor on Friday August 3 rd from 5:00 to 7pm at Clark Chapel, 405 Center Street Dowagiac.  A private service will be held at a later date in his hometown of Mondovi WI. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Southwestern Michigan College Foundation.   Those wishing to sign Russ' Memory Book online may do so at