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Dee Owen was an avid volunteer, devoted mother and ‘loved all aspects’ of Omaha

December 28, 2018

Dolores “Dee” Owen was tireless.

Tireless in her approach to raising her children — all six of them.

Tireless in her efforts to help her community — from philanthropist to volunteer, no task was too small for her.

And tireless in life itself. She lived 99 years and 362 days, taking her last breath on Christmas Eve morning, just three days shy of her 100th birthday.

“She never got tired, even in her later years,” said her daughter Carolyn Anderson. “She wanted to make a difference.”

A native Omahan, Dolores Carlson Owen loved all aspects of her city, her daughter said. She volunteered and supported organizations ranging from the Omaha Community Playhouse to the Salvation Army. And along the way, she received numerous honors, including Ak-Sar-Ben Court of Honor, Sustainer of the Year for the Junior League of Omaha, the YWCA Outstanding Women of Distinction/Professional Volunteer of the Year, and induction into the Central High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

The lobby of the Omaha Community Playhouse is named for Dee and Edward Owen, and the drive leading to the playhouse has been named Dee Owen Drive. The couple volunteered at the playhouse and supported it financially.

“It was an organization they cared about together” said Katie Broman, executive director of the playhouse, where Dee Owen volunteered for more than 75 years. “She was very much ingrained in the playhouse and its history.”

In her younger years, she helped build sets, and in her older years, she answered the phones.

“There was no task too small for Dee,” Broman said. “Dee was amazing. She was committed and hardworking, very humble and down-to-earth.”

But her pride and joy, her favorite topic, Broman said, was her family.

“Above everything else, she loved talking about her family,” Broman said.

Ed and Dee Owen were married for almost 50 years before he died. Together, they had six children. In addition to Carolyn, the others are Bob, Barb Scanlan, Dick, Kathie Stemm and Peggy Gray.

The memorial service will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Dundee Presbyterian Church at 5312 Underwood Ave.

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