Bill Owens

Thursday, January 5, 2017

CHARLESTON, Mo. - William A. "Bill" Owens, age 84, a resident of Charleston, died Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau.

He was born Feb. 21, 1932 in Malden to Algie Benjamin and Pauline Qualls Owens, who preceded him in death. A graduate of Anniston High School, he enlisted in the US Air Force and served in Germany during the Korean conflict. Following his discharge, he worked with a barge company on the Mississippi River. In the early 1960s he began farming and continued until his retirement in 2000. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Charleston where he served as a deacon for many years prior to be honored as deacon emeritus in 2 015. Serving as a delegate, he represented his church at Charleston Baptist Association meetings and worked through the Missouri Baptist Convention, traveling to Russia to establish a mission emphasis in farming in Belarus. He was elected to serve as a board member of the Charleston R-1 School District and served on the Board of Directors at the Citizens Bank in Charleston. He was a member of the Charleston Masonic Lodge 407 AF and AM, and a Mason of the Scottish Rite.

On May 14, 1960 he married Ellen Neel "Honey" Graham, who preceded him in death on Dec. 22, 2013.

Surviving are one son, William Neel Owens of Charleston; one brother, Edward (Freda) Owens of Mounds, Ill.; two brothers-in-law, Robert L. "Bob" (Meekee) Graham and Thomas C. "Tom" (Melissa) Graham all of Charleston; one sister in law, Betty Owens of Mounds City, Ill.; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and his wife, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Dallas Owens and an infant brother; and one sister, Phyllis Owens Bright.

Visitation will be held from 5 until 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, at McMikle Funeral Home in Charleston.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, at the First Baptist Church, 301 S. Main in Charleston. The Rev. George Nite, pastor of the First Baptist Church, and the Rev. Gerald Collier of Cape Girardeau will officiate.

Missouri Military Honor Guard will conduct graveside rites at the IOOF Cemetery.

Interment will follow under the direction of McMikle Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be shared at

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Memorial contributions may be given to the First Baptist Church, PO Box 442, Charleston, MO 63834.

Paid obituary