Life’s Reflections: McEowen Touched Many Lives in Darke County

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A younger Roger McEowen.

I wasn’t quite prepared to hear the news that I heard a few days ago. Roger McEowen, a long-time friend, passed away.

Yes, I knew he had been ill but was hoping he would defy the odds and get healthier even though he had an incurable cancer and other health issues.

I saw the obituary before his son, Jeff, contacted me with the news. He said his father had a major heart issue and passed away peacefully early the morning of Oct. 12 at Hospice of Miami County in Troy.

It wasn’t the first time Jeff messaged me about his father. There was a message on Sept. 11 to let me know that Roger was moved to the local Village Green facility after suffering a stroke.

Three days later, I made my way there, and, lo and behold, there was Roger and his son.
He was sent there to undergo rehabilitation from the stroke he had at the end of May.
My column on Sept. 17 recounted that visit.

Roger’s cancer woes began in the early 2000s, and he was currently taking oral chemo. Then, the stroke hit, and lastly, the heart issues.

I just have to say he fought a long, hard battle with his health, and he fought hard.
Roger, who turned 89 in July, graduated from Jackson High School, now known as Mississinawa  Valley, in 1952.

I became acquainted with him when I was working for the daily newspaper. I penned stories on his writings, including those on his ancestry and the community of Rossburg where he grew up, and I even wrote about him donating numerous bindings of his writings to the Greenville Public Library and to the Garst Museum.

Where did he find time to do all of this? Another reason to admire him.

Several times when I worked on Sundays at the newspaper office to put in the obituaries for the next day’s edition, he would drop in. Sometimes, he had a project for me to look at, or he just stopped in to tell me about his activities.

I could tell he loved his family. He smiled when he would tell how he and his wife Kathy used to go to dances; how he went fishing with his son Jeff; and when grieved when their daughter, Debbie, passed away in 2007.

He himself was the eldest of four children of Lowell and Dortha (Hathaway) McEowen, all of whom he outlived. The siblings were Robert, Ralph, and Rita (Young).

What impressed me also was that Roger was a manufacturing engineer at Corning Glass and had also worked at Cadillac-Gage at one point. I, not being technically inclined, listened even though I did not always understand what he was talking about,  but I was happy to lend him an ear.

Roger was concerned about some construction projects in the area as well as environmental concerns and would go to meetings and express his feelings because of his love for the outdoors and life in general.

Roger loved flowers and making his properties look beautiful. He worked hard at it, just like he did with other things in life. (File photo)

Former owner of his own orchard, Roger did indeed have a green thumb and loved gardening, flowers, and anything that grew, and he did it well.

In my opinion, he was a well-rounded fellow who took an interest in almost everything. I will cherish our friendship forever, especially after he had his son reach out to me last month to have me come visit him.

Another reason to honor this great man came when I got this message after his death: It came from Roger’s granddaughter, Melissa Nicholson, who wrote: “Early this morning, Roger Lowell McEowen was called home to be with his Lord and Savior. Words can’t begin to describe how much we’ll miss him. He was a true gentleman. A constant source of love, support, and a friend to everyone he met. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He adored his family.  We adored him. He was an engineer by trade and a farmer at heart. Throughout most of my childhood, he and my grandmother lived on a seven-acre apple orchard with 2,000-plus fruit trees. It was a labor of love, as he planted every single tree with his own hands. They grew dozens of different fruits, vegetables, and flowers and raised chickens. It was a magical place to grow up! He was and always will be one of my greatest blessings. I will cherish him forever.”

I thank his family members for thinking of me during this time. I will never forget him. Rest In Peace, Roger, and prayers to your family during this loss, for today, they will be laying you to rest, and I hope to be there at the viewing. You will definitely be missed because you were loved by many.

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Jamie and I extend our condolences to the families and friends of Roger McEowen, Steve Jeffers, Connie Norris, Michael J. Campbell, Mary Greer, Marianne Hawkey and Joan Delk Wackler,

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Please pray for these people: Roberta Hall, Kara Didier, Sonny Custer, Pam Norman-Penticuff, Kelly Kelch, Michelle Coppess Hiestand, Katie Young, Mike Mayse, Greg Moody, Kelly Jo Eikenberry (kidney transplant) and son Allen (donor), Larry Linder, Steve Waymire, Allison “Ally” Miller, Grace Boyd, Jeff Brocious, Jamie Knick, Dan Lockhart, Jenny Pitman, Nikole Baldridge, Chester Bryant, Melinda (Batten) Stacy, Michelle Young,  Margaret Hoening, Manual Macias, Kathy McNutt Dapore, Lester Beisner, Delores Beisner, Kermit Foureman, Chuck “C.W.” Cruze, Mark Lovejoy, Connie Buemi Hodson, Michelle Grottle Wright, Judy York, Donald Booker, Dennis Leeper, Connie Stachler, Randy Heck, Ronnie Norton, Marie Schlechty, Jeremy “Jerm” Burke,  Gary Eichler, David Pretzman, Clinton Randall, Ralph Byrd, Doug Winger, Rusty Maloy, Debbie Mayse, Sonja and Dan Coppess, Jeanie Francis, Harvey Hinshaw, Bruce Kaiser, Amanda Mote, Gary Francis, Anthony and Theresa Grillot, Lee Everhart, Paul Gigandet, Doug Whittington, Tracy Pratt, D’Arleen Waymire, Zach Urbancic.

Also, John Rimmer, Joan Keen, Carol Hemmerich, Dave Hinshaw, Larry P. Fitzwater, Jim Thomas, Neal Gray, Michael Mowery, Kenny Edwards, Judie Hathaway,  Ned and Brenda Wallace, Rick Marker, Randy Garrison, Jannie Barrow, Kathy Gragorace, Danny Foster, Becky Everhart, Becky Oliver, Steve Neff, James Enicks,  Cathy Collins Peters, Donna Bixler, Linda Subler, Sally Burnett Ganger, Gloria Hodge, Jeff Baltes,  Cathy Melling, Scott Clark, and all of those who are suffering from other life-altering illnesses.

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Happy birthday:  
Oct. 17 to Chris Cox, Lynetta Lore, Logan Daugherty, Benny Fitzgerald, Bob Petitjean and  Amy Craiger.
Oct. 18 to Dwight “Bufford” Edwards, Bob “Boo” Jones, Dustin Jenkins, Susan  Mills Pyle, Heather Brown Suerdieck, Dawn Zumbrink Muhlenkamp, Terri Frazee,
Oct. 19 to (My favorite person) son Jamie Moody, Dee Morris, Laura Gibboney, Judy Hoffman, Ben Jones Jr., Tina Rismiller Schmitz, Jerry Batten Sr., Jared Batten, Ron Rismiller, Debra Rammel, Dr. Amir Malik, Kassy Wentworth, Nora Barnt, Marjorie Hammaker, JoAnn Keen, Marv Stammen and Diana Shook Armstrong.
Oct. 20 to Michelle Leugers Enicks, Chelsea Gates, Stacy Mortensen, Amber Mangen, Dean Allen Hurd and Rita McCans.  
Oct. 21 to  Doug Amspaugh, Trudy Matthew, Emily Sturgill, Randy Christian, Pam Phillippi, David Brewer, Barbara Heindl, Beverly McCabe Baker, Tim Tyo and Rachel Wellman.
Oct. 22 to Devon Daniels, Bonnie Alexander, Madison Young, Rose Stegall,  Amanda Gibboney, Romie Kramer, Jeromy Burke, Eddie Cline, Tina Kiser Deaton,
Oct. 23 to Gary Francis, Heidi George, Joseph Floyd Ray Riffell, John Swallow and Renee McCleskey,

Happy anniversary to Linda and Dick Yount and Rick and Lynne Gump, all on Oct. 19; Bob and Sarah Daugherty on Oct. 29; Ed and Vicki Ruhe on Oct. 21; Drew and Roxanne Meadows, Gene and Cheryl Clouse, Doug and Carla Cothran and Mike and Rose Stegall, all on Oct. 22; and Dan and Tara George on Oct. 23.

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Think about it: “Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions. They’re less embarrassing than dumb mistakes.” — Author Unknown