Published 7:12 am Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Rupert Owens, 91, passed away Saturday, December 24, 2022 at his home in Virginia Beach surrounded by the love of his family. He was born and raised in Harbinger, North Carolina, where he still owned the family homestead. He brought his childhood to life by telling stories that everyone knew by heart: falling through the barn loft and breaking his arm, mischief on the family farm with his brother Lou, and of course hog killing time. He excelled at sports and school. He first fell in love with “Carolina Blue” when he went to UNC for a year before he joined the Navy. After his four years in the Navy, he completed his education at William and Mary while working and starting his first family. He worked in auto financing for GMAC and Sovran Bank, though his grandchildren thought his real job was golfing. He started his second family in 1976, where he continued to provide steady love.
He was famous for his french fries, his grass, his Christmas magic, his candy/snack counter, his penny trick, his love of dogs, and teaching them tricks. He was very proud of the fact that one of his dogs could even count! He always kept a watchful eye over the neighborhood by sitting in his favorite lawn chair just inside the garage door. He loved to answer the phone by saying: “I’m looking at a Carolina Blue Sky.”
He is survived by his three daughters and a son: Annette Owens Eccles (John), David Owens (Claudia), Missy Owens (Mike), and Katie Owens. The loves of his life are his grandchildren: Jordan Eccles, Ty Eccles, Carly Eccles Sheaffer, Angelica Owens, Oliva Vick, and Emily Vick, and great grandchildren Addie, Bria, and Bryce Sheaffer, Grace and John Eccles, Sophia and Victoria Eccles. He is also survived by his sister Shirley Lynn, a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins, his first wife, Jean Owens, and his second wife, Anne Owens. In his immediate family, he was preceded in death by his parents, Gladys and Ernest Owens, and his brother Louis Owens, brother-in-law Lynn Lynn and nephew LaRee Lynn.
He instilled his deep compassion for others and genuine life lessons and teaching to his daughters, raising them with constant reminders to “always try your best” and “plan your work and work your plan.” His caring nature and wisdom were precious and exemplified to all. Everyone who met him loved and respected him.
He was happy and content in his last years. He often talked of growing up on the farm, never missing an opportunity to share a funny story which would make us all laugh. He knew all the Andy Griffith and Gunsmoke episodes by heart. He loved his Pepsi and fudge rounds. He was lucky enough to live next door to Missy, Mike, Liv, and Emmy. They were his lifeline every single day. He always had a smile on his face and loved his family more than life. Not a bad life! And we, his family and friends, were fortunate to share it with him.
Many thanks to Sentara Hospice who eased his way and ours at the end. He asked that for a service, someone say a few words on the front porch of the farmhouse and to take a ride on the riding lawn mower. This will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the memorial for Rupert G Owens which will be used for a yearly scholarship to a student in need from his home of Currituck County and administered by Currituck County High School. Checks may be sent to 655 W Fox Grove Ct. Virginia Beach, VA 23464. Please visit www.vacremationsociety.com to share memories and offer condolences.