Raymond Owen

March 6, 1932 to December 26, 2017

Raymond Owen was born on March 6, 1932 as the youngest of twelve children to Michael and Badhia Owen of Lawrence, MA.  Both his father and mother were First Generation immigrants who came to the United States from Lebanon in 1910 through the legendary Ellis Island. Ray’s dad was a barber while Ray’s mom was busy raising a household full of kids.  Since Ray was the youngest, he was really raised by his sisters (Alice, Isabel, and Wadell).

Ray joined the Marine Corps when he was seventeen and did his basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.  His first tour of duty was in the Korean conflict where he was injured and received the Purple Heart.  Ray was one of four Owen brothers (Ray, Nick, Jack, and Edmund) to serve our country.  His mom and dad hung a flag in their small apartment window with five Blue Stars stitched to the cloth proudly showing the neighborhood they had five children serving in the military during our country’s times of conflict.

Ray was stationed (after Korea) at Camp Lejeune where we met and fell in love instantly to the love of his life; Suzann Grace Odum.  A northern Catholic boy, Ray ran the gauntlet of Suzann’s Southern Baptist parents and survived; a tribute to his deep love and perseverance.  Ray and Sue were married on July 5th, 1957.

The first blessed addition was Sabrena Wadell who was born on November 24, 1958.  She was the noisy one (selectively noisy these days).  The second blessed addition was Raymond Michael who was born on May 22, 1960.  He ate a lot and still does.  The third and final blessed addition was Tracy Lynn who was born on August 14, 1963.  She talked a lot and still does.  Sue cried uncle at that point and Ray (like all smart husbands) complied.

After the procreation phase, Ray gathered his tribe and headed for Hawaii.  He was still with the Marines and worked at Kaneohe Marine Corp base for the balance of his Marine career.  He traveled much and ran the clubs on the base.  These were vibrant years for Ray and his family, enjoying paradise, traveling with the Corp and with his family, and in general enjoying life.

Ray retired from the Marine Corps in 1971 and embarked on a new career in sales.  His job covered a territory from Alaska to Okinawa, to the South pacific, including the beautiful State of Hawaii.  Glamor years for sure.  Lots of travel all over the Pacific selling and wining and dining his clients.  Now and then, Mom would join him but for some reason we don’t really understand he preferred to make the trips with his colleagues while mom held down the fort with three young children…Go figure!

Ray had a vision of opening his own business and did that in 1977 when he opened the first Middle Eastern delicatessen in the State of Hawaii.  This business was a tremendous success and Ray really came into his own in those years.  Great food, lots of publicity and notoriety in the Honolulu community.  He was supported in those years by his wife, some family members, who moved to Hawaii from the cold Northeast to work for him (a difficult decision for sure), and his children. And still, another great chapter in the life of a great man.

After successfully launching his brood, Ray and Sue moved to sunny San Diego in 1987 where they settled in the suburbs of San Diego in the small community of Del Cerro Heights.  They have been living there until Dad’s passing.  These were great years for Dad.  He retired, contributed to the community through the Kiwanis Club, and enjoyed the blossoming of his family.

Ray was lovingly called Gunny, Dad, Daddy, or Jiddou by his children and grandchildren. He was affable, generous and kind to everyone who knew him, sometimes a bit too gregarious with strangers which would get him, Sue, or any family member in close proximity, in a bit of trouble … always pure and innocent but sometimes awkward. Always the salesman and consummate negotiator, Ray would not accept retail and was always looking for the angle; you needed to be on your toes when trying to sell to Ray for sure!  He would share his last dime with you and complain, but he was always generous.

Ray was an avid gardener and collector and left his family with a beautifully landscaped home and a vast inventory of valuable collectable figurines. No space was left unadorned (as his progeny would often remark with a kind chuckle).

Ray is survived by his lovely wife of 60 years, Suzann Grace Owen, and his children Sabrena (and her husband Robert), Ray (and his wife Andrea), and Tracy (and her husband John).  Ray was blessed with seven beautiful grandchildren, Robert, Kathy, David, Deanna, Andrew, Maile, and Lani, and three great grandchildren, Ronan, Slade and Ariella, before his death.

Ray died peacefully in his home with his family on December 26, 2017 from natural causes.  He lived a full, joyful, and blessed life.  His family will celebrate his life at Miramar National Cemetery at 2:30 PM January 2, 2018.  There will be a visitation at 11:00 AM:

Legacy Funeral and Cremation Care

7043 University Ave.

La Mesa, CA  91942

619-337-1400

www.legacyfuneralcare.com

There will be a simple service directly following the visitation at the same location. The family is so very grateful for the outpouring of love and celebration of Ray’s life. And as Ray would have wanted, charitable contributions in his honor can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS  66675, www.woundedwarriorproject.org, (877) 832-6997.

Visitation

  • Date: January 2, 2018
  • Time: 11:00 - 12:00 PM
  • Location: Legacy Funeral & Cremation Care
  • Address: 7043 University Ave La Mesa, CA 91942-5954
  • Directions: Legacy Funeral & Cremation Care

Celebration of Life

  • Date: January 2, 2018
  • Time: 12:00 PM
  • Location: Legacy Funeral & Cremation Care
  • Address: 7043 University Ave La Mesa, CA 91942-5954
  • Directions: Legacy Funeral & Cremation Care

Burial

  • Date: January 2, 2018
  • Time: 2:30 PM
  • Location: Miramar National Cemetery
  • Address: 5795 Nobel Drive San Diego, CA 92122
  • Directions: Miramar National Cemetery

My dear Sue, I just heard of Ray's passing. Words can not express how sadly I feel. We go way back, Lawrence, late forties early fifties. Visited with you in Hawaii in 1973. You both could not have been more gracious. Lost my wife, Bunny, in 2004. Please accept my sincere condolences. Great memories. Always, Joe Shaheen

Joe Shaheen on January 09, 2018

It was my pleasure to have known Ray for several years thru our Kiwanis club. He was a kind gentle man with a great sense of humor. I will miss him

Kurt Kendall on December 30, 2017

Hey, Gunny. I write this condolence for your family, but it's essentially to you, my NAM buddy. Yes, I'll miss your idiotic chuckles and jokes, but know too, we all treasure them as essentially memories of you, you practical joker. Because they were Ray Owen, at your best. As you often proudly said, with a nose like yours, one couldn't be anything but proudly Lebanese. Granted. And your enjoyment of people astounded me, never hesitant to grasp the hand of a total stranger, tickle a child with your laughter, and bring friendly, genuine joy to many. The account you told us, your Kiwanis brothers, of being in Heaven is typically Ray Owen. After enduring a detonation in Korea, the blast knocked you out on your ass, only to later conscientiously recover to find yourself in an entirely white room. As you glance around, in a foggy state, you were sure your were in Heaven. But alas, simply to find you were on a hospital ship off the Korean coast, with an abundance of white robed nurse. In NAM, your chow hall was under attack. To which, you grabbed an M-16, and decided to take on a horde of AK-47 bearing NVN. Evidently, you won. But is that what the Corps taught you at Camp Lejeune? Gads, Ray! And if you again were to ask me for the ten-hundredth time where is your walking cane is, I'll ensure you, you will know where I stuck it! Incidentally, you still owe me $1.53. Rest well, my always delightful buddy. Semper Fi, Marine.

A NAM Buddy on December 30, 2017

We will miss our dear friend! He was always cheerful and giving. We loved being with Ray and Sue whenever we had the opportunity! The world lost a "winner"!

Mike & Darlene Abdelnour on December 29, 2017

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