Feb 092011

John H. Owens, 89, of Chandler passed away on Monday, Jan. 30, 2011. Funeral services were held Feb. 8 at the Chandler Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Interment followed at City of Mesa Cemetery.

He was born in Snowflake on Aug. 17, 1921.

He attended high school in Holbrook and then at Brigham Young University, where he met his future wife, Bette Simmons.

John served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II as a fighter pilot. He volunteered in 1941 and served until 1945, ending his service as a captain. He served in the European, China/Burma and India theaters, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. While in China, he flew with General Chennault’s Flying Tigers.

After returning from overseas, he and Bette married and returned to Holbrook, where he and his brother and father formed a corporation that became Owens Motors Inc. They sold Studebaker, Pontiac and International Trucks.

John was elected mayor of Holbrook, serving only a short time before moving to Phoenix, where he started Owens Auto Supply, owning and operating the business for 29 years.

He was married to Bette for 55 years before her death in 2000.

Survivors include his daughter, Sharyn Mathieu; his son, Michael; three grandsons; and three great-grandchildren.

Bueler Mortuary of Chandler was in charge of the arrangements.