On August 18, 1936 in Mississippi, the union of Mr. A. D. Owens and Mrs. Jerlean Owens was blessed with son, Willis Owens. He was the second of seven children. He helped his daddy farm throughout the early part of his life. Willis received his education at the Smith County Training School.
In 1953, Willis “Big O” Owens joined the United States Navy. In 1969 he moved to San Diego, California and met the love of his life, his “Ol Lady” Loretta Harrison. They went on to have 4 children Christopher, Tanisha , Tonya, and Chuck Owens.
“Big O” was very passionate about his career in the military, he loved traveling the world and enjoyed the 6 yrs. he spent in Japan. Some of his other passions in life were to spend quality time with his children, grandchildren, and family. He especially enjoyed cooking, going to the casino, keeping a smile on his “Ol Lady’s” face and surprising his grandchildren with socks of money. “Big O”, was very easy to get along with and had a special connection with each individual in his life. He loved sitting on his porch waving at just about every car and person who passed by with his warm smile.
During his 20 plus yrs. in the military he received many honors such as the Vietnam Service Medal w/Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, 2nd Award, and Vietnam Capital Medal. He retired from the military in 1975 to go on to do an additional 20 yrs. in Civil Service retiring in 1995.
He leaves to cherish his loving memory his wife Loretta Owens of San Diego, CA., his children Christopher and Tonya Owens of San Diego, CA., and Tanisha S. Owens of Albuquerque, NM. His six grandchildren Deondre K. Wright, Arnel E. Miller, Janayla L. Owens, Nayshawn W. Owens, Christopher C. Owens and Douriah J. Otabor of San Diego, CA., brother L.B. (wife Carolyn) Owens, sisters Ruthie (husband D.A.) Haynes, Elsie (husband John L.) Barnes all of Mississippi, and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends. He was preceded in death by his youngest son Chuck W. Owens, parents A.D and Jerlean Owens, brothers Willie D. Owens, Johnny E. Owens and sister Helen R. Barnes.
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