UPDATE: Saying A Final Goodbye To The Chief

By: Bruce Layman, Lauren Weppler Email
By: Bruce Layman, Lauren Weppler Email

UPDATE 08/06/10 - 4:20PM

Friday the public came out to honor former Parkersburg Fire Chief, John D. Owens.

During the ceremony, Owens' body was taken to Mount Olivet cemetery, upon Parkersburg's antique fire truck.

The procession passed beneath crossed ladders as they entered the cemetery gates.

American Legion Post 15 of Parkersburg carried out a full military graveside rites.

The fire department also held a "last call" to honor Owens.

Some of Owens' former colleagues like, Don Hamric, attended the service. "He was a dedicated, forthright, and brave individual. One of the bravest, I've ever worker with," said Hamric.

John Harris, who fought fires along side of Owens said, "It's hard to have a fire fighter brag on each other they just go and do their job. He never looked at it except the fact for helping people."

Owens died, Tuesday, after prolonged health issues, since the passing of his wife in August of 2008.

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UPDATE 08/04/10 - 6:00PM

A former Parkersburg Fire Chief, John D. Owens, will be laid to rest Friday, but Wednesday a few of his colleagues were remembering the man behind the badge.

Current Parkersburg Fire Chief, Eric Chichester, said Owens was a man of few words but when he spoke you listened.

Chichester joined the department 27 years ago when Owens stepped down as captain.

He said Owens had a hand in creating the uniform the firefighters wear now and also helped get the first tower fire truck for the department.

Fire Captain, Carl Sizemore, said Owens mentored him earlier in his career which is something Chichester agrees with.

"There was a servant to the city right there that a lot of people may not realize how many lives that guy has touched in his time. It would have to be incredible. He just knew what he was doing so well."

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UPDATE 08/04/10 - 4:37PM

A former Parkersburg Fire Chief who retired after more than 27 years of service with the Parkersburg Fire Department has died.

John D. “Chief” Owens, age 72, died August 3rd.

Owens was born in Parkersburg and was a 1956 graduate of Parkersburg High School. He served four years in the United States Air Force. During his time with the Parkersburg Fire Department, he served as Fire Chief from 1978 to 1982.

Funeral services will be 1:00 pm Friday, August 6, 2010 at the Lambert-Tatman Funeral Home at 400 Green Street in Parkersburg.

In honor of John’s service to the Parkersburg Fire Department, his body will be transported to Mt. Olivet Cemetery upon Parkersburg’s Antique Fire Truck. The procession will pass beneath crossed ladders as they enter the cemetery gates. Full military graveside rites will be conducted by American Legion Post 15 of Parkersburg.

Friends may call from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 3901 Brisco Rd Parkersburg, WV, 26105, in memory of his wife, Ruth Ann.


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