Harry E. Owens, 89, of Grangeville, Idaho, died in a single-car accident on State Highway 13 near Stites, Idaho, on Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Harry was born May 11, 1928 in Spokane, Wash., the second son of Charles E. and Pearl Tumelson Owen. He attended Idaho schools in Peck, Hayden and Grangeville, graduating from Grangeville High School in 1946.
Following his graduation, Harry moved to Lewiston, Idaho, to work at the mill. He married Marietta Huffman, also of Grangeville, on Dec. 7, 1947, in the Grangeville First Christian Church. After a few months in Lewiston, the couple returned to Grangeville, where he began working at the Post Office. In 1951, he enlisted in the Air Force. Over the next four years, he was stationed at bases in Texas, Florida, and Georgia. During this time, their sons, Randy and Mike, were born.
After his discharge from the military in 1955, they returned to Grangeville, where he resumed his career at the Post Office. In 1957, he joined the Army National Guard unit in the Grangeville area. Daughter Sandi was born in 1958, followed by youngest daughter, Leann, in 1961. Later that year, Harry’s local guard unit was called to active duty at Fort Lewis, Wash., where he was stationed for one year. In 1965, Harry attended helicopter flight schools in Texas and Alabama. Upon returning to Idaho, he transferred from the local National Guard engineering unit to the 116th Armored Cavalry, Boise. He retired from the National Guard in 1988.
In 1975, Harry became a full-time rural route carrier for the Post Office, which he continued until his retirement in 1983. During this time, he also drove school bus between Grangeville and Slate Creek. In 1986, Harry was elected Idaho County Commissioner, a position he held for the next 16 years.
Harry was an active member of the Grangeville Christian Church until the time of his death. He was a dedicated member of Mount Idaho Lodge #9 A.F and A.M, and Mountain Queen Chapter #11, Order of the Eastern Star, and held memberships in several other Masonic bodies, including York Rite, Scottish Rite, Shriners, Cryptic Masons, Red Cross of Constantine and Knights Templar.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Patricia, son, Randy, and wife, Marietta.
He is survived by his older brother, Lee (Roberta), of Lewiston, youngest sister, Shirley Hunter, of Lewiston; son, Mike of Grangeville, daughter, Sandi Wheeling and her husband, Richard, of Boise, daughter, Leann Owens and her husband, Kurt Spracher, of Idaho Falls; grandchildren, Sarah Owens, Dylan Owens, Jeremy Yuill, Jameson Spracher, J.C. Spracher, Jeff Spracher, Tyler Wheeling, Laura Wheeling, and Ryan Wheeling.
A viewing will be held Friday, May 19, 2017, from 1 to 8 p.m. at Blackmer Funeral Home of Grangeville. A funeral service will be held Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 1 p.m. at the Grangeville Christian Church with Pastor Tom Helmick to officiate. Burial will follow at Prairie View Cemetery in Grangeville.
Arrangements are under the direction of Blackmer Funeral Home of Grangeville. Send condolences to the family to Blackmerfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to your local chapter of the American Cancer Society, the Spokane Shriners Hospital for Children, 911 W. 5th Ave, Spokane, WA 99204, or a charity of your choice.