Howard Ervin Owens Sr., was born in Rosemont, West Virginia, on Sept 8,1936. He was the third child of 8 siblings born to his parents, Willie and Enetta Owens, Sr. The family relocated to Akron, OH in 1952, where he attended and graduated from Copley High School in 1956. On August 27, 1960, Howard married the love of his life, Beverly Butler.
At an early age he gave his life to Christ and was baptized at Beulah Baptist Church, in Copley, OH, under the leadership of the late Pastor Thomas Allison. He became an ordained minister in 1965. He went on to minister at Beulah Baptist Church under the late Pastor Robert Lee Sr. His journey continued to Mount Haven Baptist under the late Pastor Edgar Lee. In 1996 he and his family joined Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church under Bishop Marc L. Neal. He was a member of Greater Peace Baptist Church under Pastor Laven Parent until his passing.
Howard enjoyed and accomplished many things in his lifetime. In his early years, he boxed with the Golden Gloves of America for several years and served as a reservist for the U.S. Navy. He made a career with Yellow Freight Trucking Company, where he retired at age 75, and was a member of the Teamsters Union for 40 years. In addition to his ministry, he worked with his mother, Enetta, at Model City, which provided a public service within the community of Akron, OH. He was also a licensed barber. Kenny and Dajuan, had plenty of haircuts from Poppa in their resident home.
Rev. Owens, was adored and respected by everyone he encountered. He lived life to the fullest and his smile was truly one in a million. He had a strong love for all things family you could always count on him to be there, with his video camera, making memorable home movies, at every family event. Whenever he could he liked to hit the road and travel, one of his favorite places to visit was his birth state, of West Virginia. At other times he would get in the car with his wife and take a trip out of state. He spent most Saturdays making pepperoni rolls, washing his cars, cruising around town on his motorcycle, bowling in a league, and spending time with his many grandchildren.
Rev. Owens loved the lord, and he woke up and went to bed, every day, reading the word of God. He dedicated his life to spending numerous hours each week ministering at nursing homes, hospitals, and inside jails. He had a passion for the sick, shut-in, and incarcerated. Rev. Owens, was the founder of a rehabilitation facility, known as the Howard House, for the newly released prisoners, reentering society. When Rev. Owens preached you could feel the compassion in his words.
On Sunday April 30, 2023, Rev. Owens, departed this life surrounded by family in his residence on Beachwood Ave. He is preceded in death and welcomed with open arms by parents, Willie and Enetta Owens Sr.; brothers, Willie “Law”, Paul, Donald “Satch”, and Melvin Owens; sister, Florence Taylor; daughter, Barbara Janelle Purdy; nephews, Everett “Squeekie” Dalton, Jr. and Damon Owens.
His wonderful life will always be cherished by his loving wife of 63 years, Beverly; children, Garland (Shelia) Larkins, of Atlanta, Georgia, Donna (Chris) King, Howard “Ervie” Owens Jr., Tracy Johnson, and Kevin Owens, all of Akron, Ohio and Diamond Smith of Phoenix, Arizona; grandchildren he raised, Brandy, Kenneth and Dajaun Owens, all of Akron, Ohio, a total of 18 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren (5 generations); sisters, Shirley Matthews and Mildred “Bitsy” Owens-Bibby and sister-in-law, Delores Owens all of Akron; a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and so many friends.
Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and mentor will be greatly missed.