Delores Owens was born on January 12, 1928 in Dubuque, Iowa to Dr. Henry Ambrose Martin of Natchitoches, Louisiana and Dorothy Pelkey of Chicago, Illinois. She attended Dubuque Senior High School where she played on the women’s basketball team and tested her acting skills in a high school play. She also participated in Girl Scouts between the ages of 12 until 18 and was an active member of the youth club at St. Luke’s Methodist Episcopal Church, now United Methodist Church in Dubuque.
Resourceful, Delores worked in her father’s podiatrist office from the early age of 15 until she left for school at West Virginia State College, majoring in Child Care and Home Economics. Following graduation, she returned to Dubuque and worked for her father until his passing in 1951.
In 1952, Delores moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and worked at Collins Radio as a mail clerk. The following year, she went to Rockford, Illinois to attend an uncle's funeral and spent the rest of her life here. Delores worked in various positions until she obtained employment at Rockford Day Nursery, where she worked for eight years. Thereafter, she was employed by Rockford Public Schools from which she retired after 28 years.
On December 28, 1961, she married Rufus Owens and shared a loving marriage for 44 years until he passed away in 2005.
Delores remained active in her church, Christ the Carpenter United Methodist Church. She also had many interests including travel, reading, arts and craft, and T.O.P.S. She loved teaching Sunday School and continued her work with the youth. Delores served on the Board of Camaraderie Arts, an after school program she helped found and the Carpenter Youth Club at church.
In addition to her husband and parents, Delores was predeceased by all of her brothers and sisters. She leaves behind a large family of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends who love her and will greatly miss her.
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