Mildred Law Wood Owen (1925-2021) was born in small-town Deputy, Indiana. Her dad and grandfather, and the generations before them were respected farmers and mechanics in the area. She was the youngest of six children. Her family moved to Austin, Indiana while Mom was still in school. She was an exemplary student. She was always proud to have made it to the state “Spelling Bee” in her youth, and to have never missed a day of school. Not long after Mom graduated from Austin High School her closest brother, Orville, was killed in WWII. His passing affected mom for the rest of her life.
Mildred Law Wood Owen, was known to many of us here today as Mom, Grandma or Great-Grandma. She had two husbands, Howard A. Wood and Earl Owen; four children, Anthony “Tony” (Michele), Theresa Marie “Terri” (Brien), John (Pat) and Dorothy (Russell); and eight grandchildren, Dwayne, Phillip, Joey, Celestine, Bryan, Johnny, Aurora, and Julia.
Mom met and married Howard Wood in 1952. He was a career Army man which meant frequent moves, and while Mom adapted well, it always seemed like she missed the places she left behind. She raised Tony while Howard did a stint in Korea. She joined Howard at duty assignments in Arkansas where Terri and John were born, then moved back to Fort Knox, where Dorothy was born. The Army took the family to Germany twice, Ohio and Kansas before Howard retired from the Army in Springfield, Missouri in 1969. In 1970 Howard, Mildred, and all four of their teen-aged children moved to Corpus Christi, which has been the family home ever since.
Howard worked a variety of post-Army jobs in Corpus Christi and Mom did bookkeeping for several local firms including a heating and air conditioning firm, a concrete paving company, and a pharmaceutical distribution company. For several years they operated Moore’s Café in Saxet Center together. They bought a lake house on Lake Corpus Christi with a ramp, a dock and a huge barbeque grill; it was the center of family activities for many years. After retirement, Dad and Mom traveled throughout the west and to Hawaii. They were also active members of the Elks Lodge in Corpus Christi and Mom’s closest friends were in the affiliated Does organization.
In 1984, Howard was diagnosed with lung cancer. Mildred stayed by his side throughout the ordeal, holding his hand until the end. They had been married for 32 years. Mom moved into an apartment and enjoyed spending time with her grandkids and her friends from the Elks Lodge.
In 1987, Mom met Earl Owen on a double date. Earl, a winter Texan from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and a widower was a member of the Elks. They were married in June 1987 and began their life together with summers in LaCrosse and winters in Corpus Christi. They loved fishing in both areas. Later, they moved to Corpus Christi full-time. Earl died at age 99 in 2013. They had been married for twenty-six years. Mom took great joy from her eight grandkids and eleven great-grandkids. She and Earl attended the South Shore Christian Church in Corpus Christi.
Mom always treated us as her kids and the rest of us still just kept treating Mom like Mom. She still took great joy from her eight grandkids and eleven great-grandkids. We visited her often and until the last year she kept up with most of us on Facebook and until the last few months she kept up by phone or video chats. Her failing health, coupled with the forced quarantines of Covid-19, reduced our contact with Mom, but we’re confident that she knew we were with her in spirit.
Mom was laid to eternal rest with Howard Wood on April 15, 2021, at Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi.
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