Funeral Services for Mrs. Wanda Jean Roman Owen, 77, will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, at First Baptist Church of Marble Falls with the Rev. Max Copeland officiating. Interment will immediately follow at Lakeland Hills Memorial Park in Burnet, Texas. The family will receive friends from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Wanda Jean Roman Owen was born Feb. 6, 1935, in Lynn County, Texas, and passed to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, after a long and difficult bout with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Disease. Throughout her illness she exemplified grace, dignity and her twinkling blue eyes and genuine smile never failed.
Jean graduated from Knott High School in 1953 as valedictorian and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hardin-Simmons University with a bachelor’s of science in health and physical education. She received her master’s of education from Southwest Texas State University in August 1966.
Jean began her teaching and coaching career in Mertzon, Texas, and taught in Seminole and Wall, Texas, as well as at Hardin-Simmons University before moving to Austin and coaching at Lanier and Austin High Schools. Coach Owen encouraged and led her teams to many district, bi-district and regional championships and state finals in basketball, volleyball, track and bowling. She was honored as Austin High School Teacher of the Year in 1986. She retired from teaching in 1992.
Jean married Robert E. Owen in 1961 and they were happily married until Bob passed away in 2005. She was a member of Austin Association of Teachers, TSTA, NEA, National Federation of High School Coaches and the Texas High School Coaches Association. Jean was a leader in fighting for the equal funding of women’s athletics at all levels and in ensuring that Title Nine of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, enacted in June 1972, was upheld and applied to her students.
Outside of “school” she was a member of the Women’s International Bowling Congress, Horseshoe Bay Women’s Golf Association and numerous bowling teams, including the Austin Women’s Bowling Association. After retirement, Jean worked with the First Baptist Church of Marble Falls Prison Ministry. She and her husband, Bob, were two of the founders of the Hope Sunday School Class and she was instrumental in finding creative, entertaining and fun party opportunities for the class.
Jean continued to golf and bowl, bowling in the women’s seniors and team senior tournaments through the U.S. for many years. Jean’s own words about herself are the best honor we can give her today. In her “Philosophy of Teaching” statement, she wrote, “A teacher/coach should be open-minded. She should use her heart as well as her head and have faith in people. She should believe in them, trust them and draw out the best in them while being able to accept with understanding their faults and shortcomings as well as recognizing her own deficiencies. The teacher/coach should have a sense of humor and not be a stuffed shirt. She should maintain discipline, but have a humble spirit and the ability to laugh at herself.”
Jean was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Robert Owen; parents, Elbert Lee Roman and Laura Curry Roman; brothers, E.L. Roman II and Odell Roman; and sisters, Ruby Doris Roman Cheatham and husband Robert and Hildred Lynette Roman Rutledge and husband James.
She is survived by two brothers, Maxie Ray Roman and wife Karen and Don Dwaine Roman and wife Beth; sister, Judith Ann Roman Robbins; sister-in-law, Wanda Lee Roman; step-children, Marvin Owen and his family, Molly Owen and Mark Owen; many nieces and nephews; and many close friends. Special thanks and deep appreciation to Linda Fletcher, Jean’s dear friend and teaching associate; Matilde McEachron, her companion and caregiver, and her husband Alfonso; Roger and Dot Foil of Horseshoe Bay; JW and MaryAnn Cradoct of First Baptist Church; Tsachka Morag and Sandra McCrae, Holly Hale, former director of Cedar Ridge Alzheimer’s Care Center and Odyssey Hospice and their wonderful staff for their unwavering encouragement, support, visits and love for Jean during her last years.
Please offer your condolences via the online guestbook at www.edgarfh.com . If desired, memorials in Jean’s name can be made to the Hardin-Simmons University Women’s Athletic Scholarship Fund, 2200 Hickory, Abilene, Texas 79698. Arrangements entrusted to Edgar Funeral Home, 2105 N. Highway 281, Marble Falls, Texas, 830-693-5808.