In Memoriam

Owen Owens

The founder of Valley Forge Trout Unlimited, Owen Owens, died on Saturday, January 20, 2024. Among other things, he worked tirelessly on a number of environmental issues, including the health of the Valley Creek and West Valley Creek watersheds and the streams in them. When you walked with Owen, you were walking with one of the giants of conservation in Pennsylvania. He will be missed but not forgotten by those lucky enough to have known him.

Dr. Owen Dale Owens, 89, passed away on January 20, 2024 in Kennett Square, PA. Born on September 25, 1934 in Fort Atkinson, WI, Owen excelled in academics, eventually leading to a B.A. in anthropology/sociology from Beloit College, BA of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, an MA from Northwestern University in History and Literature of Religion, and a Ph.D from Graduate Theological Union/University of California Berkeley.

Dr. Owens was pastor of Bethel Methodist Church in Racine, WI, interim director of Hothorpe Hall at The Lutheran Retreat Center in England, and a researcher and writer for the National Baptist Ministries in Valley Forge, PA.

Owen was an untiring champion for the environment and social justice, having contributed to community and environmental groups too numerous to name. For 50 years, he sought to “learn how God is leading us to a future of ecological wholeness and social justice, where the Biblical hope of peace on earth becomes daily reality.”

Among other works, he was the author of American Baptist Evangelistic Life Style and Church Renewal Resources”; co-author with the Rev. John Coy Cook (a member by birth of the Navajo Nation) of Healing the Coyote in Me: The Navajo Coyoteway Blessing Ceremony; Spiritual Help in Hard Times; The Bible’s Hope for Life on Earth; Living Waters: How to Save Your Local Stream; Growing Churches for a New Age; and Stones into Bread. He finished his last book, Rescue the Perishing, just a week before he died.

Founder of Valley Forge Trout Unlimited, Owen was instrumental in the restoration of Valley Creek near West Chester, PA. An avid trout fly fisherman, Owen also was an organic gardener and bird watcher. He traveled the world, supplementing his formal education with direct experience of people and their cultures.

He also was co-founder of the Religious Coalition for Creation Care where he worked tirelessly to unite people of faith in the protection of the planet.

Dr. Owen’s legacy was one of unconditional love and relentless optimism. His passion for life and dedication to making the world a better place was inspirational and infectious, and he leaves an indelible mark on his family, friends, and the many lives he touched through a lifetime of dedication to his deep Christian faith and our environment.

Despite all his accomplishments, Owen’s greatest passion was for his children and family.

Dr. Owens is survived by his wife Irene Owens, his brother John Owens, children Andrew Owens (and partner Julie Webb), Elizabeth Alcamo (and husband Joseph), Martin Owens (and late wife Tonya), and Amy Davis, his grandchildren Ehren Henesey (and partner Meredith Stefanelli), Hillary Viola, Quintin Owens, Christian Alcamo, and Julianne Alcamo.

The founder of Valley Forge Trout Unlimited, Owen Owens, died on Saturday, January 20. Among other things, he worked tirelessly on a number of environmental issues, including the health of the Valley Creek and West Valley Creek watersheds and the streams in them. When you walked with Owen, you were walking with one of the giants of conservation in Pennsylvania. He will be missed but not forgotten by those lucky enough to have known him.