Arlene W. Owen
October 31, 2018, Arlene W. Owen, 93, of Bluffton, SC and formerly of Charlottesville and Roanoke, VA went home to be with The Lord. She was born in Floyd, VA January 14, 1925, a daughter of the late Jesse Hogan and Mary Ellen Whitlock.
Arlene graduated from Floyd County High School in 1943, the first in her family to do so. She was always proud of her accomplishment. At the graduation ceremony, Arlene was presented with the Most Outstanding Student Award. She also enjoyed describing the nearly 3 mile walk to school, even on snowy days!
Growing up in the farming community of rural Floyd County, her unwavering ambition was to venture out after high school and experience life in a big city. To fulfil that wish, she and a friend boldly traveled to Washington, DC by train.
As the nation emerged from The Great Depression, Arlene took her place among The Greatest Generation and worked as a civilian employee of the Navy Department at U.S. Naval Torpedo Station, Alexandria. This station served as a wartime weapons manufacturing and maintenance facility during World War II.
During her work at Naval Torpedo Station, Arlene met Bob, the love of her life. He had been serving in the U.S. Navy since 1941. Upon Bob’s return in 1947 from overseas duty in the Pacific Theater, Arlene and Bob were happily married for 62 years. They lived in Alexandria, then Maryland, before moving to Roanoke in southwest Virginia to be closer to Arlene’s family in Floyd.
Following closure of Naval Torpedo Station, Arlene was a homemaker for 20 years. She then began a very successful 18 year career in cosmetic sales at Miller & Rhoads department store in Roanoke.
Arlene is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Robert M. and Rebecca B. Owen; her granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Katherine O. and Christopher J. Signore; her brother, J. J. Whitlock; her nieces and nephew, Shelby, Julie, and Jody and their families; her niece Judy Epperly, her great niece Wendy Gilbert, and great-great nieces Tess and Alexandria Gilbert; and “grandson” Charlie Benz.
Arlene was preceded in death by her parents Jesse Hogan and Mary Ellen Whitlock; her husband, Robert E. Owen, her sister Pauline W. Epperly and brother-in-law Clyde J. Epperly; her nephew Kenneth W. Epperly; her niece Bonnie Epperly-Trudell; her sister Kathleen W. Smith and brother-in-law Levon H. Smith; her sister Ethelene H. Allen; and sister-in-law Madeline Whitlock.
Arlene was a faithful member of Northside Baptist Church in Charlottesville, VA where she had many wonderful friends. Due to failing health, she relocated to Bluffton, SC in 2015 with her son Bob and his wife Becky. Arlene joined Cornerstone Church Bluffton and enjoyed the gracious ministry of special friends. In 2017, she moved to Palmettos of Bluffton Assisted Living which she genuinely called home.
The family will be forever grateful for the love and dedicated care extended to Arlene by the staff of NHC Palmettos of Bluffton Assisted Living, NHC Healthcare, and Tidewater Hospice. Arlene loved the staff and residents at Palmettos and the staff of Tidewater in return. The Palmettos staff never failed to mention Arlene’s unforgettable, radiant smile, a smile defined by Arlene as “Grandma’s Smile”.
The funeral service will be Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 11:00 AM preceded by visitation at 10:00 AM at Northside Baptist Church in Charlottesville, VA. Interment will take place at Holly Memorial Gardens.
Hill & Wood Funeral Service in Charlottesville is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.hillandwood.com