After a five-year adventure, as he would call it, with cancer, Chuck Owen, age 74, left us on Aug. 2 for what he believed was his next great experience. He is best known on Orcas for his love of the land and creation of an extraordinary garden/park surrounding his home on the water in Eastsound.
Son and grandson of real estate appraisers and developers, Chuck earned his BA in business/real estate at the University of Washington where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He enjoyed many years at Weyerhaeuser managing their real estate properties and subsequently established his own land development company. In later years, he consulted with banks, corporate clients and large-property owners on the use and value of their holdings. He continued his love of “dirt” on his Orcas property and in the landscaping advice he would give to his many friends on the island. One of his singular achievements is the unique way in which he constructed the beautiful masonry steps that connect the paths he built throughout his property, including the 102 steps leading down to the water.
And he loved the water as much as the land. In college he lived on a boat moored near the Seattle Yacht Club. In his adult life he was never without a boat including a 32-foot Kettering Pacific Class racing boat, a beautiful mahogany-hulled sailboat which he kept in pristine condition with much sanding and varnish. In his years on Orcas, he would say that he had “50-feet of boat” spread over four different watercraft including a double kayak, the family favorite.
Chuck grew up in Redmond. He and his wife Mary Anne moved to Orcas in 1996. They were high school sweethearts at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland who rediscovered each other at their 25th high school reunion and married shortly thereafter. On Orcas, they would almost always be seen together, a matched set.
Chuck is survived by his wife Mary Anne Baggaley Owen; his three adult children – Tim Owen (and wife Andrine) who resides in Norway; Mark Owen (and wife Reagan) of North Bend; and Jami Owen Davis (and husband Ryan) of Edmonds; his older brother Donald Owen (and wife Marina) of Tacoma and his sister Karen Lucy of Kirkland. He is also survived by two step sons, Matthew Manetti (and wife Mariah) of Peachtree City, Ga. and Mark Manetti (and wife Wendy) of South Riding, Va. as well as his nine grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the Episcopal Church in Eastsound at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, Wash. and the San Juan Islands.
To share memories of Chuck please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.