Thursday, October 18, 2018
11:30 AM EDT
Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
3950 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Friends may visit with her family from 10:30 am until the time of the service. There will be additional time to visit immediately following the service.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
As her family and friends can attest, Pauline Owen was a special blessing in the lives of all who were near. She devoted her life to caring for others, and it was easy to see that faith was a cornerstone in her life. Pauline cherished her roles as a wife and mother, but she just might have argued that there was no greater gift in her life than her children and grandchildren. Although she was more quiet and reserved herself, she liked being friends with people who were much more outgoing than she was. Pauline enjoyed traveling and experienced so many amazing things, but what made these experiences truly extraordinary was sharing them with the ones she loved. Dearly loved, she will be forever missed.
Life during the 1930s was primarily defined by the dark days of the Great Depression. People struggled to find jobs, often having to move to a new state in hopes of finding work, which was no guarantee. The agricultural industry was dealt a devastating blow as a drought crippled our nation’s heartland for nearly two years during this time. Despite the ongoing trials, there was great joy in the hearts of Carl and Helen (Knoblock) Wunsch as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Pauline Helen on May 1, 1936, in Ravenna, Michigan. She was the younger of two children as she was raised on the family farm alongside her brother, Lou, who was about five years older. Pauline has been described as a good kid while she was growing up, and she learned to work hard doing chores on their farm that had both dairy cows and crops. As a family they were members at Trinity Lutheran Church in Conklin, which is where she learned the fundamentals of the faith she held near and dear to her heart for the rest of her life.
In many ways Pauline was a typical young girl of her generation. She first attended a one-room schoolhouse, which is where she became friends with a couple of girls. One of these girls was her neighbor, and Pauline and these two friends, Rita and Wilma, became friends for life. She attended local schools and graduated from Ravenna High School, and soon after she found work as a telephone operator.
New and exciting changes were in store for Pauline when she met the young man of her dreams while at the Berlin Fair in July. His name was Robert "Bob" Owen, and sparks flew right from the start, and it has been said that they were a case of opposites attract. They began dating, and it didn’t take them long to fall deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Pauline and Bob were married the following May at her church. The newlyweds initially lived above the bar in Marne, and this is where they welcomed their first child, Don, into their lives. They later welcomed two daughters, Bonnie and Mary, into their hearts and home. They spent some time living in Conklin, but when Pauline’s father died they moved in with her mother in the farmhouse. They eventually built a house in Grand Rapids, doing much of the work themselves with Pauline taking care of most of the painting. She was an amazing mother who was very active in the lives of her children. She was caring and kind while also making sure they had everything they needed. Pauline rarely sat still, although she did take a break to enjoy her evening cup of coffee.
Once her children were a little older, Pauline returned to the workforce. Over the years she found a few jobs including cleaning at homes and nursing homes as well as factory work. During that time, she often walked to and from work since she didn’t have a car of her own. Eventually, Pauline took a job in the warehouse at Meijer, working there for about 20 years before retiring. Although cooking wasn't something she really enjoyed, Pauline did enjoy baking and made amazing cream puffs. She was also a gifted seamstress who made many clothes for her children when they were young. Over the years they did take a few family trips. A bit later on, Pauline was thrilled to become a grandmother. While she was working she only had time for shorter visits, but she made the most of the time she had. One of the most special times were when she took a week off to help right after each of her grandchildren were born. Pauline’s sense of humor emerged more over the last 20 years of her life. She really had some of the best one-liners. As her kids grew older Pauline continued to be concerned for their well being and checked on them almost daily for years.
Later in life Pauline experienced both peaks and valleys along her life’s journey. She and Bob enjoyed several trips to places like Hawaii, Mexico, many trips to Branson Missouri, and annual trips to the Kentucky Derby. In 2000, Pauline was deeply saddened with Bob’s death, but she did her best to continue on. She wanted to keep going to the Kentucky Derby, and for a while she was able to do that. Pauline also took a few other trips with her children. She loved going out to eat, and she continued to enjoy spending time with her grandchildren. Being retired meant that she had more time to visit, too. Pauline also remained a faithful member of her longtime church, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church. In 2011, she suffered a stroke, and she soon moved with her daughter Mary for some added assistance. From there Pauline moved to Covenant Village, and she spent the remainder of her days at Story Point where her health slowly declined.
Loving, caring, and gentle, Pauline Owen was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She enjoyed being around others, and her children and grandchildren were the center of her life. Described as almost kind to a fault, Pauline was an amazing listener who was always there whenever someone needed her. Life will never be the same without Pauline here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
Pauline Owen, age 82 of Grand Rapids, passed away October 12, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, and by her brother, Lou. Pauline is survived by her children, Don & Deb Owen; Bonnie & Ron Cordes, Mary & Todd Jordan; grandchildren (and great grandchildren) Nicole & Luke Vanzo (Eli, Ari, Kai), Andrew Owen, Bobbi & Michael Barile (Michael, Beckett), Chad & Jessica Cordes (Lenora), Ryan & Carlye Cordes (Ronni on the way), Carri Cordes & boyfriend Justin Henderson (Emily, Lucas), Briana Cordes and fiance Jake Vachon, Kaely & Kevin Littleton (Leighton), Travis Jordan and Rachel Jordan; and her lifelong friend, Wilma. The service to remember and celebrate Pauline's life will be held on Thursday, October 18 at 11:30 AM at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 3950 Leonard Street NW. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Wednesday from 4-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW and on Thursday at the church from 10:30 AM until the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to either Kindred Hospice or Mount Olive Lutheran Church are appreciated. To read more about Pauline's life, to share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com