James E. (Jim) Owens, 89, of Lenexa, KS died peacefully on July 24, 2022. He was born in Hematite, VA, to John and Mildred Owens, the 6th of 8 children. He is survived by his children Jane (Jeff) Hayes, Millie (Robert) Mastromattei, and Dan Owens; grandchildren SarahJane, Sam, Spencer, Tyler and Nick; great-grandsons Conrad and Oliver and a foster great-grandson; sister Betty of Waynesboro, VA; and many nieces, nephews and extended family. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Deborah, and 6 brothers and sisters.
After attending Berea College, Jim transferred to and graduated from Oklahoma State University where he met Deborah. He and Deborah were married in 1958 after his return from service in Korea. In 1963, Jim and Deborah were the first married couple to receive their master's degrees from the University of Virginia. He later attended the University of Kansas where he received his doctorate in education. A lifelong educator, Jim was a principal in the Shawnee Mission School District for most of his career.
Jim was a committed leader in many organizations, including Merriam Christian Church, the Johnson County Christmas Bureau, Lakeview Village, the German American Association, the Blue Valley School Board, and the Lenexa Mason’s Lodge. He shared with many friends and family a lifelong enjoyment of card and board games.
Jim was fortunate to enjoy many travels around the world, both for pleasure and on mission trips. Above all, he enjoyed spending time with family in St. Louis, Tulsa, and his home in Virginia, or hosting them here in Kansas City.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Merriam Christian Church on August 27, 2022. Visitation at 9:45, service at 10:45.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Johnson County Christmas Bureau, Kansas City Hospice, or Merriam Christian Church.
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