John Thomas Owen 8-2-23

John Thomas Owen completed his mortal experience on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at the Homestead Assisted Living Center in Rexburg, ID. He had a quadruple heart bypass performed by Russell Nelson in 1984, and his heart functioned far beyond the expectations of that surgery.
John, known by family and friends as “Tom”, was born in Salt Lake City on Sept. 8,1938 to John Lyman and Grace Remund Owen. He had one sibling, David, 13 years his younger. Tom’s father served overseas in WWII, so many of his childhood days were spent on the Remund family farm in Midway, UT.
Tom loved learning how to hunt and fish from his uncles and Grandpa Remund, and became a life-long outdoorsman and horseman, enjoying many hunting and fishing adventures with his cousins. He earned money to buy his first rifle at age 16, and kept that gun for decades, proudly shooting many deer and elk throughout his life.
Tom attended school in Brigham City, UT, with life-long friends, then his family moved to Kamas, UT, in 1955. Although he graduated from South Summit High School in 1957, he attended many Box Elder High School class reunions through the years. Tom and his cousins were talented vocalists, and his low bass voice added a richness to high school, college, and community choirs.
After graduating from high school he and his buddies went to Army Reserve basic training in Fort Ord, CA. He was recognized as a sharp-shooter and credited his marksmanship to his passion for hunting. He attended a semester of school at Brigham Young University, then served an LDS mission in the Southern States. Following his mission, Tom attended Utah State University, graduating in 1964 with a bachelor degree in biology and wildlife science.
On June 7, 1963, Tom married Gayle Randall in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. They became the parents of four children: Brent, Sharee, Gaylynn and Bryce. Tom earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Montana and worked at Dinosaur National Monument-Vernal, for the Idaho Fish and Game, then taught biology at Blackfoot, American Falls, and Aberdeen high schools until he retired in 1996. He influenced many students in his biology, anatomy and physiology, and botany classes, and enjoyed being the track coach at Aberdeen High School. His teaching schedule allowed him to work at Grand Teton National Park as a horse patrol ranger for 11 summers. He and his family have a deep love for the Tetons. Following his retirement from Aberdeen High School he lived in Challis and Idaho Falls, then made Malad, ID, his home for the past 20 years. Tom is remembered as an avid sportsman who enjoyed hunting with good friends and his dogs; he looked forward to opening day of every hunting season. His passion for fishing is shared by some of his grandchildren, and his famous lines, “Mother Nature always bats last” and “Survival of the fittest” is remembered by many students.
When asked what his top three life experiences were, he stated: “Being a Dad to his wonderful kids, being a park ranger in the Tetons and his interactions with the students he taught during his years of teaching.”
In place of a formal funeral service, there was a memorial gathering on Sunday, July 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Rexburg. Tom is preceded in death by his parents, his son, Brent, and his first wife Gayle Randall. Tom is survived by his brother David (Susie) of Las Vegas, and children Sharee (Mike) Millet, Gaylynn (Brent) Bean, and Bryce (Angie) Owen of Rexburg. Tom has 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Thanks for reading!

Read more in this week's print edition.Subscribe Today!