Louis L. Owen, 101, of Bowman, ND, passed away at Southwest Healthcare Services Hospital, Bowman, ND, on August 10, 2019.
Funeral Services for Louis will be on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Bowman United Methodist Church. Pastor Ray Sherwood will officiate with burial to follow in the Bowman Cemetery, Bowman, ND. There will be a Friends and Family Service on Friday, August 16, at 7:30 pm at the Krebsbach and Kulseth Funeral Home Chapel. Public visitation for Louis will be on Friday, August 16, 2019 starting at noon at the Krebsbach and Kulseth Funeral Home Chapel.
Louis Lemuel Owen was born in Bismarck, ND on April 5, 1918, to Dorothy (nee Nieland) and Floyd Owen, the second of six children, growing up on a farm north of Menoken, ND. He graduated from Menoken High School in 1936 and worked as a hired farmhand (during which time he would meet his future wife) until November 1941 when he joined the Navy Reserve. Louis went into active duty at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center a month later, immediately following Pearl Harbor.
From there Louis went to Jacksonville, Florida, for training at a four-month Aviation Ordnanceman School. He remained at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station for the next two and one-half years and then transferred to Holtville, California, where he served with the CASU (Carrier Aircraft Service Unit). Louis returned to Jacksonville in June 1945 to attend a bomb site school. He was honorably discharged from the US Navy September 24, 1945, at the rating of ACFC (Aviation Chief Fire Controlman).
Louis married Helen Anderson of Baldwin, ND on April 6, 1945, in El Centro, CA. An example of Louis’ special brand of humor was when, in later years, he would say that he just couldn’t run any further from Helen, with the Pacific Ocean at his back. After his discharge from the Navy, he and Helen returned to North Dakota where they farmed until 1956. At that time Louis joined Standard Oil as a bulk agent in Rolette, ND. In 1958 the family moved to Bowman, ND where Louis lived the remainder of his life. Louis retired from Standard Oil in 1976.
Louis served on the Bowman City Commission, the Bowman Volunteer Ambulance Squad and the Bowman United Methodist Church board. He was active in the Frank Gordhamer Post #48 of the North Dakota American Legion, serving in all the offices and the post’s Honor Guard.
These accomplishment and events in Louis’ life were important to him, and his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren also appreciated them. However, they pale in comparison to what Louis meant as first a husband, then father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Louis was an extraordinary role model for his family all during his long life. He not only believed in the Golden Rule, but he lived it every day. Louis was a considerate, protective and loving husband to Helen until her death in 2007 on her 90th birthday. As a father, Louis was affectionate and unfailingly supportive. That special brand of humor was always there as well, although it took a while for Roger, Carol and Gary to recognize it. Louis brandishing a board with a nail jutting out menacingly during birthday celebrations for his young children was misinterpreted by his daughter at least. Carol remembers crying and hiding under a bed when it was her turn for that special “Dad treatment’.
When his descendants began including grandchildren and then great-grandchildren, Louis’ love of his family grew accordingly. He often said with unconcealed pride, “And there’s not a lemon in the bunch!” Naturally none of his children ever disputed that opinion.
Louis’ love of family extended to his siblings and his nieces and nephews. The Owen family had a strong tradition of family get-togethers, and even in later years when organized reunions were no longer practical, spontaneous visits were commonplace. Louis was fortunate to see his two remaining brothers Delvin and Paul, and his brother-in-law, Aldon Anderson, during the past couple of months (along with the nieces and nephew who facilitated those trips to Bowman).
Hunting was a ritual with Louis, his brothers, and his father in earlier times. Helen could always count on an Owen family invasion every fall during deer season. Fishing was another pastime that Louis enjoyed, one that he shared with all his family, instilling love for it in everyone. He patiently sorted out snarled lines and avoided errant casting attempts with good humor, first with his children, then his grandchildren, and finally his great-grandchildren.
Another significant part of life for Louis was when he and Helen spent what proved to be a decade-plus period of traveling to Prescott Valley, AZ, every winter. A number of enduring friendships grew out of the time spent there, so when Louis and Helen acknowledged that their annual migration had finally become too onerous, their decision to once again become year-round Bowman residents was made with reluctance.
The Methodist Church in Bowman was also important to Louis. He developed a number of strong friendships there through the years, and when it became difficult for Louis to attend church services on his own, a number of church members took turns seeing that he got there.
Finally, Louis simply enjoyed being around people. He loved the give and take and the teasing that went along with the familiarity of friendship. Louis frequently had a mischievous glint in his eye when he was about to say something designed to elicit a reaction from someone in his sights. He never lost that sense of humor. While rallying from his first collapse, on August 1, Louis was cracking jokes to the hospital staff, occasionally making it difficult for them to accurately assess how he was actually feeling.
Louis was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Winola; his brother Leon; his wife Helen; his son-in-law Frank Dilse; sisters-in-law Mary Anderson, Shirley H. Owen, Shirley Owen, Peggy Owen, Anette Holden, and Mildred Owen; brother-in-law Vearl Holden; and nephews Floyd Owen and David Owen.
Louis will be deeply missed by his surviving family members: son Roger (Jennifer), McPherson, KS; daughter Carol Dilse, Scranton, ND; son Gary (Mary), Cedar Rapids, IA; grandsons Stuart (Katie) Dilse, Philip Dilse, Eric (Amy) Owen and Adam (Jenna) Owen; granddaughters Tanya Owen, Kelly Owen and Kristy Owen; and nine great-grandchildren. Also surviving are brothers Delvin and Paul; sister Carmen (Ed) Schneeman; brother-in law Aldon Anderson; and numerous nieces and nephews.