Obituary: Robert Owens
February 14, 2022
Robert G. Owens, age 89, passed away peacefully on Feb. 4, 2022, with his family by his side after a short battle with cancer.
Bob was born in Devil's Lake, N.D., on Oct. 10, 1932, to Clarence G. and Anne M. (Ebner) Owens. He graduated from New Rockford (N.D.) High School, then attended Northwestern University for one year, finishing his main studies and master's degree at the University of North Dakota.
Bob was a clinical psychologist. He worked and lived in Madison for most of his adult life. He advocated for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. He worked for many years as a private consultant for the Wisconsin Division of Mental Health, the Department of Corrections, and the Menominee Nation. He created the Owens Clinic for his private practice and founded the International Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology.
Bob was an athlete in high school and college, playing baseball and basketball in high school and football at North Dakota, and was actively involved with his children's athletic pursuits. He was a voracious reader and a collector of books. He was a great storyteller and a charismatic public speaker.
Bob married Ruth Ann Johnson in 1955 and were married for 34 years. They have three children, Scott (Sally) Owens, Buena Vista, Colo.; Bruce (Julie) Owens, Mineral Point, Wisc.; and Laura (David), Pine River, Wisc. He has a granddaughter, Hannah Owens, and two step-grandsons, Evan (Hazel) and Sean (Kelly). He is survived by his longtime partner and dear friend Mary Jo Willis. He is also survived by his sister Marianne (Gary) Stone and four nephews. He loved his family dearly.
Bob was preceded in death by his former wife Ruth Ann, his parents, and a brother- and sister-in-law (Robert and Marion Johnson).
The family would like to thank the UW Carbone Cancer Center and St. Mary's Care Center and Hospice Care in Madison. The care he received was extraordinary.
Visitation was held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. Private interment at Forest Hills Cemetery was held the following day.