Rodney Lee Owens 73 and half, of Haysi, VA passed away October 9, 2020 peacefully at his residence.
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Born March 30, 1947, he was the son of the late Trinkle Owens and Connie (Mullins) Kell. He was of the Baptist faith. He was a veteran, serving in Vietnam with the U.S. Army. He served from 1956 to 1968 and received a National Defense Service Medal.
He was last employed at Rapoca Energy Company, Nora, VA where he served as a heavy-duty equipment mechanic. He became disable in 1996 due to heart disease. Over the years Rodney fought many health problems, including becoming a colon cancer survivor.
Despite his poor health, he never let it get in the way of the love for his grandchildren and great grandchildren. They were his life. There was a time when he loved working with wood and made many things for them as Taylor recalled with his “magic hammer and saw”. Even some of their teachers earned a wooden candy dispenser or bird house if they made a difference in his grandchildren’s lives. A favorite of the woodworking was a little boat he made for Hayden that he named Lou Annie. He always worried so about her health as she was his only granddaughter.
He could be seen with a bicycle in the back of his truck up the holler only to let Holden ride it all the way back down. The river has a great many more rocks due to the number of trips he made just to throw them in with his grandchildren. When they were off and about, so was he. He would rake up a load of leaves only to have them a pile to leap in and play, then do it again. Each of them spent time with him in his rocking chair sure to hear stories that small children love. Though age and health wore on him, his eyes still lit up with joy when he got to see great grandbabies Aurora and Hayes.
If you know his grandchildren, then you know he made sure that each of them had not only what they needed, but even worked for what they wanted. He was fortunate enough to be able to help them with things that would provide for their futures, to be a part of their future even now. He led them toward working ways and shown them that in life it is important to provide for those you love.
Late in life there were many health problems and even in the countless trips to doctors that many of his loved ones managed there were fond memories of talks and what he wanted for his family. Braeden recalls those hands that had crafted art from the wood and a magic hammer had become ever more, soft, and aged. He had his place as husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather coming to know and live that familiar verse from 1 Corinthians:13, “the greatest of these is love.”
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sons; Edward Lee, Jeffery Dean and one great grandson Greyson Reed Prater.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Elizabeth Ann “Betty”. His daughter Cheryl Elizabeth (Richie) Ward, of Elkhorn City, KY; a son and daughter of the heart Joseph “Joey” and Jessica Owens of Haysi, VA; a son and daughter from a first marriage Terry Owens, Bristol, VA and Stacy Owens, Wise, VA.; His greatest joy was his forever loving grandchildren; Taylor Neil, twins Jeffery “Holden,” Hayden LeeAnn, and Braeden Trey Ward of Elkhorn City, KY. Two incredibly special honorary grandchildren Joseph “Terran” and McKinley Owens of Haysi, VA. and Hunter Owens; He adored his great-granddaughter Aurora Piper Ward of Morehead, KY and his great-grandson Anthony “Hayes” Prater of Elkhorn City, KY.; Sisters; Barbara (John) Floyd, Lebanon, VA; Carol (the late Kenneth) Mullins, Haysi, VA and Rebecca (Faizan) Manzoor of Castlewood, VA and a loving host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Rodney will certainly be missed by all that knew and loved him.
The family will accept friends at Thacker Memorial Funeral Home, Wednesday, October 14, 2020, from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM. Funeral services will be Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at 2:00 PM with burial following at Annie E. Young Cemetery in Pikeville, KY. Pastor Rick Ellis will officiate all services with special singing by Pastor David Peters. Thacker Memorial Funeral Home will be handling all arrangements for the Owens Family.
Pallbearers; Taylor Ward, Holden Ward, Braeden Ward, Shannon Ward, Payton Elswick, Joey Owens and Arron Ward.
Honorary Pallbearers; Richie Ward, Tony Viers, David Ward, Johnny Greg Owens, Shadrick Viers, Kevin Viers, Adam Ward, Terran Owens and Hayes Prater.