Thomas Ladd Owens passed away on July 11th 2019 just shy of his 83rd Birthday which would have been July 25th and was born in 1936. Tom was born in Marionviile, Missouri to Faye and “Joner” Owens during the throws of the Second World War.
Joner served his country as a US Marine Corps Drill Instructor in the Pacific and young Tom was raised by his Mother Faye and his aunts and grandmother. Faye was stricken with polio but there wasn’t much she was not able to do around the house. This was all important because being raised around women was where Tom developed his lifelong love for and appreciation of women. Also, his deep and enduring love for all things about World War II, specifically our efforts in the South Pacific.
Some of Tom’s proudest accomplishments were his time spent serving his country. Although he went out for the Air Force his hearing sidelined him from that line of service and he proudly served as a signalman in the US Navy on the USS Yarnall.
Tom graduated from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri with a BS in Mathematics and was fascinated with computers. His career included time with Jackson County, MO Courthouse and TWA in Kansas City, MO. Tom moved his family down to Galveston in 1973 and spent the rest of his work life as System Analysist/Manager at ANICO until his retirement.
One of Tom’s truisms was that “once you feel the sand beneath your toes, you will never leave” and it proved true for him. His later years were spent at his home in Jamaica Beach which he shared with his longtime love, Maryann Trevino, before her passing. Together they enjoyed their life to the fullest, dining with friends, hosting family from near and wide and traveling the globe, savoring each and every glorious Galveston sunset.
Tom never gave up his love of flight. Whether watching the big birds fly over and identifying them, getting his pilot’s license or piloting his own ultra-light his passion was always flight. His crowning achievement was to become a part of the team and Engineer for the B-17 Bomber with the Lone Star Flight Museum while they were based down here on the Island.
Tom is survived by his son, Stuart Ladd Owens and step-daughter, Ruthi Stayton. Grandchildren, Rebecca Nicole Owens, Zac Stayton, Taylor Griffith, Celesta Gray-McKinnis and Jesse Gray. Tom might be best remembered for his quick wit, ready smile and wide circle of folks whose life he brought a little of his special sunshine to. If you wish to remember him with a gift or donation, please direct it to the Lone Star Flight Museum in his name.