Don W. Ownby

  • Died: February 3, 2013
  • Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Tribute & Message From The Family

OWNBY, DON W. – age 82 of Powell, Tennessee, left to be with his Lord from his home where he was surrounded by family and friends on February 3, 2013, at 4:30 pm. He was a long-time member of Cumberland Baptist Church and Rev. Eugene Fleming's "over fifty-five" Sunday School Class and had served his church as a Deacon and Sunday School teacher, as well as in a number of other capacities. He loved his Sunday School Class and he loved his church. He was a University of Tennessee College of Law graduate and was awarded a Doctor of Jurisprudence by the Trustees of the University of Tennessee. He retired from the Municipal Technical Advisory Service at the University of Tennessee in 1991 after serving more than 34 years as a Municipal Law Consultant where he developed and refined the codification process still in use at MTAS. In 1980 he received the IPS Outstanding Public Service Professional Award and in 1990 he was awarded the MTAS Cornerstone Award for his long and dedicated service to MTAS. He began his military service as a member of the Army ROTC in high school and at the University of Tennessee and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant Infantry before being transferred to the Judge Advocate General's Corps after graduating from law school. He retired as a Colonel in the United States Army Reserve with over 30 years of service. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, who loved nothing more than spending time and sharing his ice cream with his family and friends. He loved his family and he loved his friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arvin and Nettie Ownby; his brother, Hugh G. Ownby; and infant daughter, Robin Lee Ownby. Survivors: loving wife of fifty-five years, Patty Ownby; son and daughter-in-love, David and Priscilla Ownby; son, Roger Ownby; three beautiful and loving granddaughters, Kacie, Alissa, and Lauren Ownby; sister and brother-in-law, Doris and Fred Young; brothers and sisters-in-law, Jimmy and Sue Ownby, and Rex and Patsy Ownby; sister-in-law, Mary Ann Jennings; and all his special nieces and nephews who he loved so dearly. Special thanks to all his doctors and caretakers. The family will receive friends from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm Thursday, February 7, 2013, at Cumberland Baptist Church (5600 Western Ave, Knoxville, TN 37921). A Celebration of Life will follow at 7:30 pm with Dr. Kerry Bond and Mr. Charles Roach officiating. Family and friends will meet at 10:30 am Friday, February 8, 2013, at Rose Mortuary Broadway Chapel and travel in procession to East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery ( 2200 East John Sevier Highway) for a 11:30 am interment service where he will be laid to rest with full military honors presented by the Tennessee Army National Guard. Pallbearers will be Charlie Roach, Stewart Grady, Gayle Caughron, Jim Alexander, John Hatmaker, and J.C. Bowman, as well as, all the members of his Sunday School Class. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Cumberland Baptist Church. Online obituary may be viewed and condolences extended at


Condolence & Memory Journal

Patty, Roger and family, You all are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you love and strength. The stories I've heard over the years always brought a smile to me. I hope the memories help you all during this time. Love, Gianna Solari

Posted by Gianna Solari    February 08, 2013

We were so saddened to hear about the passing of Mr Ownby. I have always had high regards for him and the rest of the family.I know Mom was very disappointed that she could not personally visit with you at the funeral home.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Rusty and Kathy Bailey

Posted by Rusty Bailey - Hebron, KY - Friend   February 08, 2013

With Deepest Sympathy.

Chris Crippen

Posted by Chris Crippen - Knoxville, TN   February 08, 2013


You and your family are in my heart and prayers now and in the future Patty. My mom was saddened to hear of Don's passing as well. I'm sure my dad welcomed him with open arms! This world's loss is Heaven's Great Joy...Carole

Posted by Carole Catlett Schram - Knoxville, TN - friend from Cumberland Baptist   February 08, 2013

While I was a student at UT I had the pleasure of working with Don at MTAS. I consider him a mentor. Never have I met a more kind, gentle person who always had a kind word for anyone whether you were a secretary or an important politician. Don was one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. I never left a conversation with him without feeling like I'd learned something. Pattie, you may not remember me but I do you and I know this loss will be painful but know Don is in a better place. I can just see him debating a point with Victor Hobday up in Heaven's conference room!

Love and prayers are with you and your family,

Posted by Christie (Caldwell) Dowling - Knoxville, TN - Friend   February 08, 2013

Pattie, I am sorry for your loss of Don. It was a pleasure to have known him.
May God bless you and know you are in my thoughts. Raymond of Raymond's

Posted by Raymond Spires - Andersonville,, TN - Friend and Upholsterer   February 07, 2013

Love and prayers to Patty and family. Leah and Noonie

Posted by Noonie and Leah Whitaker - Knoxville, TN - friend   February 07, 2013

thinking of the family

Posted by Jerry DeVault - Luttrell, TN - frien   February 07, 2013

I am praying for you today as you and your family celebrate Don's homecoming. I know that you had a blessed life with Don and will miss him greatly. I miss seeing you and have always been blessed when in your presence. May God richest blessings of peace surround you today.
Sincerely, Charlie Williams

Posted by Charlie Williams - Rome, GA - friend   February 07, 2013

My sincere condolences to Mrs. Ownby, Roger and the rest of the family. It is my hope and prayer that God will see you through this time and give you His Peace.

Posted by Dean Lewis - Knoxville, TN - Friend of Roger   February 06, 2013


Patty, Hans Christian Andersen is quoted as saying "A human life is a story told by God." I believe this to be true. The story God wrote for Don is one of timeless love and devotion to his family and friends. I only met Don on occasion through the years I worked for you, but in those brief moments of time, it was obvious that you and he were each other's life's mate.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Always remember that you and Don have touched many peoples lives and those people will never forget you.

When my mother went to join God, you met me close to my home and extended your sadness in my mother's passing. David and Priscilla came to the funeral home and gave me support and encouragement. I will always appreciate the kindness your family showed to me and my friendship with Priscilla.

No matter how many of our loved ones are gone from this world; saying goodbye never becomes easier. Take comfort in knowing the story told by God for your life continues to be filled with those who love you and support you.

Posted by Diana Caldwell - TN - Former employee of AAMCI   February 05, 2013


My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this period of mourning. Remember the good times.

Posted by Carole Glodney - Culver City, CA - colleague   February 05, 2013

I met Don when I traveled to Knoxville to meet with Patty, John Bohm and Johrita Solari to discuss training goals for NAHMA. Don and Patty had chosen a lovely place about an hour from Knoxville for us to meet. I was struck by Don's obvious pride in Patty's leadership at NAHMA and her commitment to its success. Don's quick smile and mild manner drew me in, as I'm sure it did so many others. He was a wonderful listener and lit up like a Christmas tree if you mentioned his grandchildren. I feel honored to have known Don, and extend my heartfelt sympathy to Patty and the entire family.

Posted by Nancy Hogan - Boston, MA - Friend of Patty's through NAHMA   February 05, 2013

Deepest Sympathy . God bless . Randy Shepard Family Friend

Posted by Randy Shepard - Family Friend   February 05, 2013

Patty, we are so sorry to learn of your loss. You and your family are in our prayers. May the Lord bring peace and comfort to you during this time. Don will be missed by all his friends in the Parkinson's Support Group.

Barbara Winters-Akers & Herrell Akers

Posted by barbara womters=alers - lmpxvo;;e, TN - froemd   February 05, 2013

Dear Patty,
Please accept my deepest sympathies at this very sad time. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely, Kris Cook, NAHMA

Posted by Kris Cook - Alexandria, VA - Professional   February 05, 2013


We always enjoyed Don's and your visit for our Parkinson' meetings. Love and prayers for you Patty and your family. He will be missed.

Posted by Karen and Don Sampsell - Oak Ridge, TN - Friend   February 05, 2013

I was so sorry to learn of Don passing away. My love and prayers are with all the family...Always, Eva

Posted by Eva Owenby Harris - Lake Como, FL - first cousin   February 05, 2013

Patty, my thoughts and prayers are for you and your family. The memories of the past 55 years will always be in your heart. May God ease your pain and grief during the next days and months. Blessings to you and your family.

Posted by Sondra Wimbs - Cordova, TN - Friend   February 05, 2013

Ms. Patty and family:
My sincere prayers and sympathy to all of you. I was privileged to meet Mr Ownby many times with Ms Patty at SAHMA events. The love always was inspiring. My most sincere condolences to you in this very difficult time. God bless and comfort you.

James Long
Georgia SAHMA

Posted by James T Long - Dalton, GA - Georgia State Director. SAHMA   February 05, 2013

Patty, we are so sorry to hear of Don's passing. Your love and devotion was always apparent. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Barbara Boeing & Tom Kearney

Posted by Barbara Boeing    February 04, 2013