Charles R. Owens Jr., 84, federal worker

June 18, 2006

Charles Randolph Owens Jr., a retired public relations specialist for the federal Health Care Finance Administration, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease June 11 at Ruxton Health and Rehabilitation Center in Pikesville. He was 84 and had lived in Baltimore.

A Baltimore native and a graduate of Frederick Douglass High School, he served in the Army Air Forces during World War II. After leaving the service, he enrolled in Morgan State College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies.

Mr. Owens spent a 45-year career in federal government service. He worked as a weaponry trainer Aberdeen Proving Ground and at the Army Intelligence School at Fort Holabird before finishing his career at the Health Care Finance Administration.

After the Vietnam War ended, he served on an Indo-China Resettlement Task Force, visiting sites to which Vietnamese refugees were assigned in the United States and the Virgin Islands.

Mr. Owens met his wife, the former Jean Batts, while both were attending Morgan State in the early 1950s. The couple were married for 50 years. Mrs. Owens was a longtime teacher and school administrator in the Baltimore public school system. She was principal of Frederick Douglass High School for 11 years before her retirement in 1991.

Mrs. Owens said her husband enjoyed fishing and traveling. "He was crazy about fishing," she said.

Mr. Owens was a member of Capitol Hill Toastmasters, the Khayamites social club and Big Brothers.

He served as a Sunday school teacher and a member of the Deacons Board of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Services were Thursday at the church.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Yvonne Jones of Owings Mills and Cheryl Robinson of Sterling, Va.; and seven grandchildren.

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