Owen Lackey, age 93, of Mishawaka, passed away peacefully into the Redeemer’s hands on Tuesday afternoon, July 17, after a tiring battle with failing health. His adamant and purposeful spirit succumbed to the beckon and gracious will of his Heavenly Father.
Owen is survived by his loving companion and help-meet, Jennie; sons, Owen (Tracy) of Union Grove, WI, Joseph (Patty) of Mobile, AL, and daughters, Mary Connor and Sara Francis (John) both of Mishawaka. Owen leaves 16 grandchildren and many great grandchildren. Preceding him to heaven were his first wife, Edna; daughter, MariAnne; and a great granddaughter, Elouise.
Owen was born July 9, 1925, the only child of Owen and Dorothy Lackey of Stoy, IL. He lived his early years in the Robinson, IL community, graduating from high school there and then heading to college. He enrolled at Shurtleff College in Alton, IL as a communications and journalism major, working through school at the Alton Gazette.
World War II called Owen to the European theater, where he served in several capacities in the US Army, but primarily as a member of the 1251st Combat Engineers, bridge builders. After his service, Owen returned to college to complete his B.A. in Radio/TV Journalism.
While at Shurtleff, Owen met Edna Komnick of Bunker Hill, IL, falling in love and marrying in 1950. Their early life together involved traveling the southern states, introducing new movies to small communities; setting up local theaters. During this period of their lives, they were also involved in the founding and set-up of 4 radio stations in southern Illinois and Missouri. They finally settled down in South Bend in 1953, where Owen worked for WJVA Radio as an on-air personality and program director. They made a home in Edison Park, raising 4 children. Owen lost his wife to heaven’s call in 1970.
Career opportunities for Owen continued as Advertising Manager for Cities Service of Indiana, Sales Promotion Specialist for Marathon Oil, Tire Store Owner, continued Radio work and Trip/Tour Coordinator for Indiana Motor Bus. Owen owned and captained the stern wheel river boat, Princess Mishawaka, on the St. Joe River during the 1980’s and 90’s.
In 1972, Owen met Jennie Penrose at a Parents Without Partners meeting and love grew again. Jennie soon became a devoted companion, a steady partner in life and a steadfast caregiver. They traveled everywhere together, often taking kids and grandkids.
Owen remained active in the community as life slowed with advancing years. He served with the Beiger Mansion group, Tivoli Preservation group and contributed many articles for the Mishawaka Enterprise. Knowing and sharing history became his passion. He worked for Barnes and Noble because of a love of books. Owen’s last years were spent at home, under the excellent care of his wonderful Jennie. Travel and writing slowed as time took its toll. After a long life, leading his family well, serving his country and community, the soldier is at rest.
Services honoring Owen’s life will be held at 10 am on Saturday, July 21, in Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, 503 W. 3rd Street, Mishawaka. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery with military honors by VFW 360/American Legion 161 Burial Squad.
Visitation is from 4 – 7 pm Friday in the funeral home.
Memorials are suggested to the charity of the donor’s choice.