Cover photo for Gary Elwood Owen's Obituary
Gary Elwood Owen Profile Photo
1945 Gary 2023

Gary Elwood Owen

August 27, 1945 — October 5, 2023

Bellingham, WA


Gary Elwood Owen passed away Thursday, October 5, 2023 at the age of 78. He will always be remembered as a loving father, grandfather, uncle, brother and lifelong friend. Gary was born on August 27, 1945 in Wichita Falls, TX to Elwood and Ida Owen. As the second of 8 children, he had endless stories from a lively childhood growing up in the desert of Tucson, AZ. 

He served in the National Guard during a tumultuous time in our country's history. Gary loved serving others and this is where he truly shined. He was a natural in his career in industrial sales. He loved getting to know people and if Gary found out your favorite candy bar, you can bet he would have one for you the next time he saw you. 

He enjoyed playing softball and was an amazing softball coach for his daughter’s team for many years. He was well known for having a very competitive team of girls and he would predictably show up to all practices and games with a paper bag filled with a pack of gum for every single player.  Gary was a generous man who paid attention to details many of us miss. He had a love for wildlife and especially enjoyed caring for birds that would gather outside his home. Gary would take time to learn about which specific seeds would be desired by certain birds and work to keep multiple feeders stocked for them.

He had a love of the Oregon coast where he took his family on annual summer trips. He enjoyed his photography hobby most on these trips. He could walk for hours on the beach and appreciate the smallest details in the shells he gathered on his walk. Similarly, Gary could be sitting at Birch Bay in a group of people and look down to notice an agate hidden in a blanket of rocks.

Gary has been reunited with his brothers, Mike and Jim, and is survived by his sisters Virginia, Teresa, Patti, Dianne and Cassy. He is honored as a father to Melissa, Gabe and Melanie. Whether he was ironing the perfect pleat into slacks, birdwatching, or making a bed with flawless precision, he always cared about the little things.

A devoted donor to many organizations, and notably the Audubon Society, we will remember his thoughtfulness and generosity. May his love for birds, nature, routine and bubblegum be with us all as we see him in the little things all around us. 

An intimate family gathering is planned for the celebration of his life. 


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Elwood Owen, please visit our flower store.


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