Published in The Memphis
Commercial Appeal on April 26, 2012
Maurice Owen, 81, of
Collierville, went to be with the Lord on April 23, 2012 after a long
struggle with congestive heart failure.
Maurice "Mo" Owen was a right-handed pitcher for the 1946 Humes
High School team that won the Memphis city championship and finished third
in the high school regional tournament representing the state of Tennessee.
At just sixteen years old, he was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals and
was one of the youngest players in the organization. He spent seven years
in the minor leagues with the Cards and Cleveland Indians, with a two
year break during the Korean War. While playing service ball, he was voted
Most Valuable Player for the Army in 1953.
After being reinstated as an amateur in 1957, Mo Owen played, coached,
and managed teams in Memphis Park Commission Adult baseball and fast pitch
softball. Once, in leading his Highland Heights Baptist Church team to
both Church League and City League titles, he pitched seven games in thirteen
days. Later, when Mo was player-manager, he pitched his final game at
age 49. In that same year, his team battled Los Angeles to the final game
in the amateur baseball World Series at Battle Creek, Michigan.
In 1989, he was inducted into the Memphis Park Commission Sports Hall
Maurice Owen always performed with excellence, not only in baseball, but
as salesman for S.C. Toof & Co., McQuiddy, and Business Products,
Inc. He also loved golf and maintained a 48-year membership at Windyke
Country Club, where he had a host of friends.
In his later years, as a member of Bellevue Baptist Church, his passions
for his faith, family, and friends grew even stronger. He was a kind-hearted,
devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. At an early age, he
learned from his mother and father that, whether in victory or defeat,
he must, above all, hold to his faith in God and trust in our Savior Jesus.
Maurice was born June 29, 1930, in Covington, Tennessee to the late Bentley
Byron Owen and Rebecca Walk Owen, and was preceded in death by his brother
Jerry Byron Owen and his son Kenny Owen.
He is survived by Syble Hemphill Owen, his loving wife of 58 years. He
is also survived by his daughter Jan Owen Harlow (Mickey) of Collierville;
son Jerry Freeman Owen of Lakeland; sister Wanda Jean Owen Gray (Jim)l;
six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be at Highland Heights Baptist Church on Saturday April
28, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Immediately following the visitation funeral
services will begin at 1 p.m. Interment will be at the R. H. Munford Cemetery
in Covington, Tennessee.
In lieu of flowers please send memorials to Mid-America Seminary or Shepherd's
Maley-Yarbrough Funeral Home (901) 476-9778