Love the Fam

In memory of Rachel Owen

About Rachel

Rachel Marie Anderson was born in Pensacola, Florida on May 16, 1957 weighing in at a slight 6 pounds 14 ounces but measuring a towering 22 ½ inches. Her parents Roy Anderson and Katie Marie [McLean] Anderson lived on a 60-acre farm and raised their only child under strict rules but also with loving care and lots of “pets,” including cats, dogs, chickens, cows, a Brahma Bull, and her own horse.

An early childhood memory of Rachel's was her dad telling her not to be afraid of the 2000 pound bull when she came home from school and made her way from the front gate to the house about 100 yards away, or the length of a football field. “He will charge you but just stand there and look him in the eye, and he will stop before he gets to you,” he said. While I can't imagine sweet little Rachel have the courage to do this, she in fact did, and sure enough the bull came to a skidding halt about 20 feet away from her! From that day forward, they were best buddies.

Another childhood memory of Rachel's that we are very fortunate did not go wrong, was when she was about seven and had gone on a long walk with her mother in the “back-40” of the property, which was more wooded and natural. On this particular day, Rachel was singing and skipped ahead past her mother, who had stopped on the trail. Once past, she asked her mother why she had stopped. It was because there was a rattlesnake poised in the striking position right between Rachel's legs. No one will ever know why the snake did not strike, but I like to think it was because of Rachel's kind and joyful attitude.

During high school, Rachel became a first-chair clarinetist and participated in the marching band, and enjoyed softball, basketball, and horseback riding. Upon graduating from Escambia High School in Pensacola, Rachel went on to take college classes in Bookkeeping and Accounting from the University of West Florida and the College of Charleston, earning credits for an Associate's Degree.

Following an unsuccessful first marriage, Rachel soon was able to find true, lifelong love and happiness as her best friend Suzanne Piper kicked into full match-making mode and created an amazing set of circumstances in Charleston, South Carolina to bring Rachel together with Don Owen. Scheming and conniving at her very best, Suzanne invited them over for home-cooked dinners and coordinated outings such as cruising the inland waterways, going to crab-bakes, and visiting numerous historic sites including the Battery, Middleton Place, Magnolia Plantation, Fort Sumter, Patriots Point, and Market Street. Beaches were also on the agenda, including Isle of Palms, Seabrook Island, Folly Beach and Kiawah Island. Several restaurants were on the favorites list including Poogan's Porch and 82 Queen. Within a few short months, Don asked Rachel on their first official date to drive up to Myrtle Beach for the day, and they both professed falling in love on that date.

On what may be the most underrated day of romance, February 2nd Groundhog Day, Rachel married Don in 1985. Having had recent surgery to remove an ovary, Rachel convinced Don that chances of having children were diminishing each day, so baby-making became a 2-year priority, and both Clinton Manly Owen, IV, and Katie Marie Owen were born in Charleston. Following Don during his Navy career, additional homes were in Acworth, GA near Atlanta, Virginia Beach, VA, Alameda, CA near San Francisco, and Glenview, IL near Chicago.

After raising her children to high school age, she found employment with Winnetka School District 36 as an Entrance Monitor and later as the Skokie School Secretary. She completed approximately 20 years with the district, and befriended all.

Rachel was a woman of strong faith, raised initially as a Southern Baptist, and changing to Methodist and United Church of Christ in her later years. She taught in the children's program for approximately 10 years at the Glenview Community Church in the Puppet Ministry, and most recently fell in love with services at Willow Creek Community Church.

Rachel was well known for her giving and joyous spirit; she would always care first for others and second for herself, and she could make even the Grinch laugh with her infectious sense of humor. She lost her battle with Cervical Cancer on February 20, 2019, and is survived by loving husband Don (34 years), adoring children Clinton (Krystyna) Owen and Katie (Patrick) Winstead, and amazing grandchildren Colin and Jacob Winstead, who knew her as Gaga.