James Donald Owen

A memorial service will be Saturday for James Donald Owen, a 40-year resident of Gardnerville and descendant of a pioneering California family, who died Nov. 21, 2004, at his ranch. He was 85.

The service will be at 1 p.m. at Carson Valley United Methodist Church, 1375 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville. Dr. Marvin Dennis of Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church and the Carson Valley Masonic Lodge 3 will conduct the service.

Mr. Owen, a fourth-generation Californian, was born Dec. 31, 1918, in Sacramento to Wesley R. and Veta Owen. His family members were pioneers who built Bassett Station, a Pony Express stop near Sierra City.

As a young man, he lived in Penryn and attended high school in Auburn, where he excelled in track and field and earned the nickname of the "Penryn Flash."

In 1964, Mr. Owen and his family moved to Gardnerville, where he owned and operated Silver State Title Co. and later opened Silver State Travel. Over the years, his fleet of classic cars frequently appeared in local parades and at charity fund-raising events.

He was a life member of Penryn Gold Hills Lodge 32 of Free and Accepted Masons, a 50-year member of the Delta Royal Arch Chapter 27 in Auburn, and a member of Knights Templar, Ben Ali Shrine Club, Rotary, Kiwanis, Cadillac-LaSalle Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club.

Survivors include his wife, Anna Mae (Ann); daughters and sons-in-law Debbie and Roger Sweningsen, Lisa and Terry Maddox, and Kimberlee Nenzel, all of Gardnerville; Kerry and Jim Nord of Napa, Calif.; granddaughters Kalee Ann Duryee and Natalie Celeste Maddox; sister, Barbara Toelke of Newcastle, Calif.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Donations may be made to East Fork Fire and Paramedics, 1616 Eighth St., Minden, Nev., 89423; or the Carson Valley Medical Center, 1107 Highway 395, Gardnerville, Nev., 89460.

Services are under the direction of FitzHenry's Carson Valley Funeral Home.


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