Mary Elizabeth Owens, 96, bookkeeper, assistant

March 06, 2004

Mary Elizabeth Owens, a retired bookkeeper, died Tuesday of cancer at the Glen Meadows Retirement Community in Glen Arm, where she lived for the past 10 years. The former Rodgers Forge resident was 96.

Born Mary Elizabeth Goldstraw in Baltimore and raised on Calvin Avenue, she left school after her father, a stone mason, was killed while building the War Memorial on Gay Street. She worked as a clerk for the James O'Meara Stone Co. and studied architecture nights at what is now the Maryland Institute College of Art.

While a bookkeeper for the old Roland and Wilson stonecutting yard off Mount Royal Avenue in the 1940s, she was asked to model for a statue of the Virgin Mary for Villa Assumpta, the School Sisters of Notre Dame mother house at Charles Street and Bellona Avenue. The statue by sculptor Lee Lowrie overlooks Charles Street.

She also helped repair and reset the glass in a stained-glass window lifted from Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in Bolton Hill.

She later became an administrative assistant for Monumental Motor Tours. She retired about 20 years ago. She then returned to school and took political science courses at what was then Essex Community College.

In 1940 she married John Reese Owens Sr., a Pillsbury Baking Co. salesman, who died in 1986.

A requiem Mass was offered yesterday at St. John's Episcopal Church, Huntingdon, where she was a communicant.

Survivors include a son, John Reese Owens Jr. of Phoenix; and two sisters, Olive G. Powell of San Diego and Clara Belle G. Thomas of Timonium.

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