Aubrey Franklin Owens, Sr., a beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away on Friday, January 5, 2024, at his home. He was a respected member of the community and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Born on November 1, 1924, in Greenville, SC, a son to the late John W. Owens and Ida Long Owens. Aubrey's legacy includes his military service in the US Navy for 20 years. He earned the distinction of Senior Chief Machinist's Mate during his tenure and retired after a full career working on navy ships. The discipline and values he acquired during this time served as a strong foundation for everything he accomplished thereafter.
After he retired from the US Navy, Aubrey led a remarkable life filled with kindness, dedication, and a passion for sharing his knowledge. After earning his bachelor's degree, he embarked on a fulfilling career in education. His commitment to his students at Spartanburg Technical College as an instructor and department head, led him to leaving a lasting impact on countless lives.
Outside of his professional endeavors, Aubrey had an extraordinary green thumb. He grew incredible gardens of vegetables that were so beautiful travelers would pull over on the side of the road to admire them. His skill and love for gardening were evident in every plant he nurtured and bountiful crop harvested and shared with others.
In addition to his gardening talents, Aubrey was admired for his craftsmanship. Many will fondly remember him as a mentor who graciously invited friends and family into his workshop to teach them how to build bookshelves and other furniture pieces for their homes. His skills were a testament to his patience and willingness to help others. His family shares that “Pop” as they lovingly called him, always welcomed anyone into their home. He became a father figure to all who needed him. There were many Atlanta Braves baseball games to share as he was such an avid fan and watching professional wrestling matches was great family time for them all.
Aubrey's dedication extended beyond his local community. Throughout his lifespan of 99 years, he volunteered with Carpenters for Christ and traveled extensively across South America, Panama, Uruguay, and other countries. He lent his expertise to building projects for those less fortunate—a noble endeavor that showcased his selflessness.
Family held a special place in Aubrey's heart. He is survived by his two daughters, Freida O. Meredith of Simpsonville, SC, and Norma Jean Owens of Spartanburg, and his son, Aubrey F. Owens, Jr. of Spartanburg. Aubrey's love extended to his three grandchildren, Stephen Bradley Meredith (Margie) of Simpsonville, Shelley M. Burgess (Barry) of Leesville, and Matthew Franklin Owens (Megan) of Duncan. Additionally, he leaves behind five great-grandchildren: Nicholas Meredith, Will Burgess, Phillip Burgess, Jacob Meredith, and Hayden Meredith who will all miss him greatly.
Aubrey was preceded in death by his parents, John W. Owens and Ida Long Owens, as well as his beloved wife. Bernice Abernathy Owens who died in 2014. Their memories will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew them.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, January 11th from 12:00 PM to 12:45 PM at Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel in Spartanburg. The funeral service will follow at 1:00 PM in the same location. Aubrey will be laid to rest at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg immediately following the funeral. Rev. Rufus Chaneyworth will officiate.
Aubrey's impact on the community as an educator and mentor will never be forgotten. His dedication to serving others and sharing his skills made him a truly exceptional individual. He leaves behind a legacy of compassion and selflessness that will continue to inspire generations to come.
May we all celebrate the remarkable life of Aubrey Franklin Owens, Sr., as we remember his kindness, generosity, and unwavering commitment to making the world a better place.