James “Jim” Newell Owens

Jim was born in Parsons, KS, to Edward Ames and Mary Newell Owens, the fifth of six children.  He grew up in the First Christian Church. His family moved to Vinita, OK, in 1957, then to Bentonville, AR, in 1961. He graduated from Bentonville High School with the Class of 1964 and attended the University of Arkansas for three years before he was called to service in the United States Army.  He served in Vietnam as helicopter maintenance E5 for two years.

While on leave from the service, he met his friend John’s cousin, April Taormina.  After his military service, he married April on September 25, 1971, and moved his city girl to the Midwest.  Shawnee, KS, has been their home for 45 years. To celebrate their anniversary last fall, he said, “After 47 years, 49 States, 13-14 countries and a few islands on 4 continents, it has been a good ride. So hold on honey, because it is not over.  Happy Anniversary.” Instead, at 73 years of age, he died unexpectedly after undergoing abdominal aortic surgery. April survives and their home will continue to be open to family and friends for special occasions and just being together.

During college, Jim worked for the National Forest Service as a firefighter.  His training at his parents’ Dari-O-Drive-In served him well in a future job with Zarda Dairy.  He then went on to work for Express Scale parts and, finally, as an electrical technician for Offset Electrical where he traveled the world.  

He loved the opportunities to be involved with his sons and grandchildren.  He coached both of his boys’ youth soccer teams and also coached his grandson’s baseball team for a few seasons before retiring as an avid Eagles baseball fan.  For himself, playing softball was a lifetime sport and he was looking forward to the approaching summer season. He and Shawnee Mission Lake became “best friends” as he fished throughout the year.  Seasonal hunts to western Kansas always brought a smile to his face. His garden was a source of pride with tomatoes and fresh vegetables for family and friends. He and April rarely missed watching KU basketball and enjoyed many cruises and road trips together.

In addition to his wife, survivors include sons, Michael (Tammy) of Overland Park, KS, and Joshua (Catherine) of Shawnee, KS;  grandchildren, Grace and Connor of Overland Park, KS; sisters, Mary Catherine (Charles) Brown of Parsons, KS, and Peggy (Lou) DaHarb  of Longmont, CO; brothers, Tom (Sherron) of Kansas City ,MO, and Fred (Rhonda) of Jenks, OK; Sister-in-law, Phyllis Siniscalchi of Mesa, AZ ;  and brothers-in-law, Joe Taormina of Benicia, CA, and Dominick (Rosemary) Taormina of Albuquerque, NM, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A sister, Nancy Sue Threet and brother-in-law Joe Siniscalchi preceded him in death.


Visitation will be Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 6:00-8:00pm at Amos Funeral Home, 10901 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, KS.

Burial will take place Thursday, May 16, 2019, 11:00am in Resurrection Cemetery at 83rd Street and Quivira Road, Lenexa, KS.


The family suggests memorials to Johnson County Parks and Recreation at www.jcprdfoundation.org.

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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Monday, May. 13th 2019 | 11 Comments »

11 Comments on “James “Jim” Newell Owens”

  1. Terry Brewer Says:

    April again I cannot express how sad I am at Jimmy’s untimely passing! At one time he was like a brother to me! As the years and time separated us he still holds a special place in my heart! You and the family have my prayers and are in my thoughts! RIP MY OLD FRIEND YOU ARE MISSED!! The world will not be the same without you!

  2. Roger Gardner Says:

    We are sorry for your loss. All of us at Express Scale Parts wish to send our condolences and are happy to make a donation in his name to JCPRD. I know how much he loved fishing at the lake in Shawnee Mission Park and remember he even handmade some lures for my boys. You are in our thoughts.
    Roger Gardner, Ronnie Brown and Greg Self

  3. Joann LaBorde Says:

    April, Mick and I were just shocked to hear this devastating news! You have been in our thoughts and prayers. I know God will get you through this. If you need a place to get away for a while, please come see us in Branson. We’d love to see you! God bless you, sweetie!

  4. Sharron Fields Wooldridge Says:

    We met Jimmy when he moved to Bentonville and instantly formed a friendship with him and his family. So sorry to hear of his untimely passing. Our condolences and prayers for the family in their loss. He will be missed. RIP ole friend.

  5. Carla and Jim Mattson Says:

    This was such a shock to us and we are certainly sorry for your loss; it doesn’t seem possible; we remember our many trips to Branson with you and our friends and the many trips we all took with the company. It was always fun. We’ll always remember Jim’s salmon from Alaska and the problems you all had getting in home.
    Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  6. Joe Pollock Says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Jim was a great & fun guy to have on our senior Basketball team. We will miss him. My prayer is that God will comfort his Family in their time of need. Love & Prayers, Joe

  7. Pat and Mary Lou Sharkey Says:

    April. We are so sorry. You are in our thoughts and prayers

    Pat and Mary Lou Sharkey

  8. Karin E Olds Says:

    Our entire family will miss Jim. Thank you for helping coach our boys in baseball, along with your grandson. We always enjoyed your fun and friendly attitude. Prayers to April, Mike, Tammy, Grace, Connor and the rest of the family. I hope that softball team in heaven appreciates you!

  9. Carl Johnson Says:

    April….Jennifer and I just heard of Jims’ passing. We are very saddened and want you to know that you and your entire family are in our prayers. We both enjoyed chatting with the two of you at Conner and Cody’s Eagles games. If you need anything, please let us know. Carl Johnson and Jennifer Layton.

  10. Gail Mann Says:

    April, I am so sorry to hear about Jim. Know that we are thinking and praying for you and all of the family. Jim was always such a wonderful cousin, always had a smile and story to tell. I am glad it sounds like a lot of the family is there to support you.

  11. John Bonagura Says:

    April, Michael, Josh, Lair and I would like to extend our sincere condolences in Jim’s passing.
    I met Jim In may of 68 at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, where we were both sent for training. We became pretty good friends and he would come home to Long Island with me on weekends where he met my cousin April, who he married in 1971. After we completed our training we were sent separate ways. Jim and April were here on long island in August for our daughters wedding and it was a memorable visit. It is sad looking back on all those years that I won’t see him again.

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