Obituary for William H. Owen III

What a Smile! Bill, you will be missed!

Mr. William (Bill) H. Owen III, 78, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, November 16, 2012.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 1.30pm at Berean Baptist Church, 517 Glensford Drive with Pastor Sean Harris officiating and Dr. Ralph Richardson sharing.  Burial will follow at Campground Methodist Church where young Billy attended as the grandson of founding members Mr. and Mrs. William H. Owen Sr. on Campground Road.
Born in 1934, Billy grew up in Fayetteville and graduated from 71st High School in 1952. As a young man, Bill learned to farm and landscape in the family business. From 1952 to 1960, he served in the North Carolina National Guard responsible for feeding 125 men and keeping the Mess Section’s vehicles in good running order. In 1945 Bill began his 52 year long career with the Fayetteville-Observer, initially as a paper carrier. In 1953, Bill moved to advertising. From there Bill moved into production as a printer, machinist and technician until 1965 when “Mr. W-H-O” was promoted to Production Director. At the time of his promotion, Bill was the youngest newspaper production director in the Nation. “Mr. W-H-O” continued to serve for 32 more years without taking a single sick day at this position.  As the Observer’s Production Director, Bill received numerous awards for his service including the Al Resch Award for Distinguished Service (1972) and the Macy Hoyle Award for Outstanding Service (1989).

Not content to retire, Bill served at Village Baptist Church as the project manager for their education wing and as the church administrator from 2000 to 2007.  Bill was also a licensed general contractor and just renewed his license to oversee a mission house renovation project at Berean. He also served as a member of the Fayetteville Jaycees, Christian Businessmen’s Association, European Baptist Fellowship Mission Board, and as the Commissioner of the PWC from 1987 to 1995. Bill will be remembered as a man of integrity who loved to rise to the “it can’t be done” challenge.

Bill was a humble, godly man who loved and served his Lord, church, community, and family for life. Bill never tired of serving in the church he attended as an administrator, elder, deacon, teacher, trustee, project manager, committee member, usher, witness for Christ, or whatever was needed. He was a lifelong student of the Word of God with Bible Alive Ministries and Carolina Bible College and ultimately life. He was always learning and was never content to not be doing something- everything was done with excellence to the glory of God. Bill enjoyed woodworking, gardening, computer programming, construction and NASCAR. He was a faithful husband, father, brother, grandfather, mentor, and prayer warrior throughout his full life. Bill will always be remembered as “daddy” and “daddygrand” to his family and friends in Fayetteville.

Bill is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ann Owen; two daughters Cindy Wright and husband Charles of Columbia, SC; Beth Thornton of Fayetteville; two sisters Ethel Harris Kyle and Kitty Davis and husband John; and seven grandchildren Heather and husband Casey; Haigh and wife Laura; Maggie and husband Loren; and  Philip; and brother-in-law Steve Beck and wife Jodie.

The family will receive friends at Berean Baptist Church on Sunday, November 18, 2012 between 4-6pm in the chapel. Condolences may be sent through In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to the Berean Baptist Missions House, 517 Glensford Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28314.


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