Harry Eugene "Gene" Owens

Born: Tue., Jun. 23, 1942
Died: Mon., Dec. 23, 2013

Memorial Service

12:00 PM Sat., Dec. 28, 2013
Location: First United Methodist Church of Greensboro - North Campus

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Harry Eugene “Gene” Owens of Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee in Greensboro, GA, died Monday, December 23, 2013 at his residence surrounded by loved ones.  Gene was born in Ottawa, IL on June 23, 1942 to the late James Luther Owens and Margaret Elizabeth DeCoursey.

He graduated from Ottawa Township High School and went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering at Colorado State University at Fort Collins, Colorado and his Masters in Business from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.  He proudly served his country in the United States Army for thirteen years, where he served tours of duty in Korea, Germany and Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal for his “more than twenty five aerial missions over hostile territory” during a 20 day period in January, 1969.  Cancer, which took his life at the age of 71, has been attributed by the VA to his exposure to Agent Orange during this tour of duty in Vietnam.  Gene was an Engineer for Digital Equipment Corp. and later Quantum Corp. retiring from Seagate Corp. in 2010.  He married the former Ilse Wichmann on October 25, 1969.  In May of this year they moved to Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee in Greensboro, GA from Colorado Springs, Colorado to be close to his brother and family, Jim and Carol Owens.  He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Greensboro.  He derived much pleasure in golfing, bike riding, skiing, reading and taking pictures of his cat, Pepper.  Most of all he and his wife, Ilse, enjoyed touring and sightseeing throughout the great state of Colorado.  
In addition to his wife of forty-four years, Ilse Owens of Reynolds Plantation Greensboro, GA, he is survived by a brother, Jim Owens and wife Carol Owens of Greensboro, GA; niece, Dr. Julie Politi and her husband Dr. Joel Politi of Columbus, OH; nephew, Greg Owens and his wife Michelle Owens of Apex, NC; his beloved cat, Pepper; other relatives and many friends. He was predeceased by his pet dog, Gypsy and a pet cat, Chief Inspector Clouseau.
Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church North Campus, 202 W. Broad Street, Greensboro, GA with Pastor Merry Grayson officiating. The family will receive friends at a reception after the service at the Family Life Center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Relay for Life, c/o First United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 216, Greensboro, GA 30642 or the Oconee Regional Humane Society, http://www.orhspets.org, 6350 Lake Oconee Parkway #102, Greensboro, GA 30642, Tel: (706) 454-1508.   McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of local arrangements. Visit us at www.mccommonsfuneralhome.com to sign the online guest register


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Condolence Booklet

Gene and Carol Fox
   Posted Fri December 27, 2013
Remembering all the wonderful times growing up in Ottawa together. Gene had a great character and was a good friend to all. He will be greatly

Keith & Debbie Knoll (Codak)
   Posted Fri December 27, 2013
We are so sorry to hear of your loss. It was a great pleasure knowing and working for Gene. He will surely be missed. If there is anything we can do for you, please let us know, it would be an honor. Our prayers and thoughts are always with you.

Keith & Debbie Knoll

Jerry Eick
   Posted Sun December 29, 2013
One of my best friends during my High School years. We had great times in those years when we were shaping our future lives. He will surely missed. GOD BLESS YOU, MY FRIEND...

Larry & Sharon De Coursey
   Posted Mon December 30, 2013
Lots of fond memories,will miss Gene greatly.

Larry & Sharon

Steve Kurtz
   Posted Mon December 30, 2013
I had the pleasure of working with Gene at both Digital and Quantum and always enjoyed working with him. I'd see him occasionally walking down Centennial in the Springs and am sad to hear that he has passed on.

Bill and Peggy Seitz
   Posted Mon December 30, 2013
We are so sorry to hear of Gene's passing. We worked with Gene at both Digital and Quantum and can say that we always saw Gene as an excellent engineer, great and kind person and a true gentleman. Our condolences to Ilse and all of his Family and friends.

Kenneth Laura
   Posted Tue December 31, 2013
Dear Ilse,

As my boss of three years, and then as one of our supporters while we were overseas, I always appreciated his strength. His memory will continue to encourage me in my life and I pray that You also will be able to lean on his memory even as you did his arms.

God Bless you,

Randy DeCoursey
   Posted Mon January 06, 2014

So sorry to hear about Gene. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


The Oade Family: Ted, Stevie, Cort, and Nash
   Posted Wed January 08, 2014
I greatly admired Gene Owens for his honesty, courage, tenacity, dependability, and most of all, his sense of humor. Gene was a genuine hero who lived an extraordinary life from his days as a country boy in Illinois, his enormously valorous service to our country, and his significant contributions as one of the data storage industry’s pioneers. I first met Gene in 1996 as we were thrust together on a doomed product development program. My first impression was that of a gruff manufacturing engineer who refused to compromise and didn’t suffer fools or marketing types. I happened to be the marketing type on the program. Gene gave me and others the courage to do the right thing and my admiration for him began. Over the following decade, we spent a lot of time working and traveling together and I slowly got to learn that Gene was not simply a gruff engineer but a principled man with tremendous depth, ability, and compassion. He was also very worldly and wherever in the world we traveled, I knew I could count on his guidance and language skills. When I met his lovely wife, Ilse, I got to see an even more impressive side of Gene and the magnitude of his character came more clearly into focus; he was clearly her hero and champion. During our friendship, Gene shared his experiences, life lessons, and opinions (of which there were many). He and Ilse have always been so very kind to me and my family. They have enriched my life and I am a better person for having known them. I will miss Gene terribly and my heart goes out to Ilse for her loss.