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Raymond Eugene Owens, a native of Mathews County, age 85, died peacefully at home on Sunday, July 15, 2018, following a courageous and lengthy decline in health from Cushing’s disease.

He was a 1950 graduate of Mathews High School, and a 1954 graduate of Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School, where he received the Niels Christiansen Craftsmanship Award.

He then served his country in the U.S. Army, where he was stationed in Berlin, Germany, for two years. Upon arrival back home, he fulfilled his promise of marrying the love of his life and established his home and family. 

Raymond retired from Newport News Shipbuilding after 43 years as a Wood Patternmaker. In addition to his long tenure at the shipyard, he also enjoyed working as a builder. His master carpentry skills were used to construct many custom-built homes throughout the Tidewater Peninsula, and he was known for his attention to detail in making fine cabinetry. He also used his talents in making waterfowl carvings and creating stained-glass art.

He was a diligent worker, a man who willingly provided for his family, and gave back to others. In retirement, he returned to his beloved family farm in Mathews, where his childhood memories and friendships were formed. Until his decline in health, he was able to enjoy boating, church attendance, gardening, fishing, travel, volunteering, visiting his friends and relatives, and enjoyed well-spent time with his grandchildren.

Raymond was predeceased by his parents, William A. Owens and Eva C. Lewis. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Jean Harrell Owens; his daughters, Deborah O. King of Virginia Beach, S. Kimberley Owens of Newport News, and Jennifer Blake and her husband Lloyd Blake of Hudgins. He is also survived by four granddaughters, “Poppie’s girls,” Sarah, Rachel, Jeannie, and Emmaline Rae. Additionally, Raymond was predeceased by a “special brother,” Wayne Lewis Garrett, and is survived by a “special sister,” Jean Garrett Ward of Deltaville.

Visitation was held on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at Faulkner Funeral Homes, Foster-Faulkner Chapel, Mathews, from 6-8 p.m., with Masonic Rites ceremony beginning promptly at 6 o’clock. A service to celebrate Raymond’s life will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, July 19, 2018, at Mathews Baptist Church with burial to follow at Smithers Cemetery, Hudgins.

Should one desire, memorial contributions may be made to Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 723, Mathews, Va. 23109.