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Deceased Information

Bruce Woodrow Owens

Wednesday, September 20, 2017






  • The Pulmonary Hypertension Association 801 Roeder Rd. (Ste. 100), Silver Spring, MD 20910

  • Please contact Fischer's at (678) 514-1000 to send a message to the family.

    Bruce Woodrow Owens, Esq., a man of many interests and talents died on September 20, 2017 at Emory University Hospital, Decatur, Georgia from pulmonary hypertension and cardiac failure. The family was with him in his last hours. Bruce was born on August 3rd, 1940 in Long Beach, California. He was the son of the late Evelyn Irene Bruce and Woodrow Wilson Owens. He attended several different grade schools while the family moved to different California towns. He was always a good and dedicated student and graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1958. During those years he earned his Eagle Scout Award and participated in the Sea Scouts activities. Bruce attended UC Berkley and served on their rowing crew when they almost went to the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. When his father passed away in 1960 Bruce took a hiatus to work, and later graduated from Long Beach State. One of his favorite early jobs was as a Park Ranger in the Kings Canyon National Park. With his love for the outdoors he considered making the Park Service a career. However, his life took a different turn when he was accepted into law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He received his LLB degree and made Law Review. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice John J. Sirica prior to the Daniel Elsberg break in case and Watergate. Bruce returned to California and joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLB, and helped in the defense of David Young of the Elsberg case before leaving and becoming General Counsel of Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, California (1976-1981). Bruce met his wife, Sandy Warren in 1980, while in Washington D.C. for several lengthy business trips and subsequently relocated to the East Coast in 1981. They married in 1982 and he joined a small law firm in DC before moving to Southfield, Michigan to work at American Motors. When it merged with Chrysler in ’87, Bruce and Sandy took the opportunity to move back to the East coast closer to the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware retirement home of Sandy’s parents. Bruce became Assistant General Counsel with the Unisys Corporation in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania and they lived in Devon, PA. for 9 years. In 1995 Bruce accepted an opportunity that took them to Brussels, Belgium where he became Herbalife Corporation Assistant General Counsel for Africa and Europe. He and Sandy intended to live overseas for two to five years and ended up staying almost 15! After the Herbalife office pulled out of Brussels, Bruce joined McKenna & Cuneo and became Managing Partner. The firm merged with another firm and Bruce eventually went out on his own in 2002, including serving as Legal Counsel & Advisor to A-Medica in Brussels, Belgium. In 2010 after much soul searching he and Sandy moved back to retire in the states settling near Sandy’s sister and her family in Sandy Springs, Georgia. During his working years Bruce formed several partnerships with business friends; including a consulting firm in Norristown, PA and took time to earn a post graduate degree from Kings College London. He was a lifelong Democrat and proud of it. Bruce was a risk taker and a man of many interests, talents and abilities. He was a lifelong avid reader, an accomplished bridge player and an enthusiastic “chef”. He was part owner of a Napa Valley Winery which helped inspire his love of cooking. He enjoyed hiking, skiing and running … participating in several marathons as well as frequent 10k races. He and Sandy belonged to several bowling leagues. He loved playing golf and shot a hole in one at Cedarbrook Country Club, Blue Bell, PA where he was a member. He was a computer enthusiast and built his first before 1980. Bruce played a number of musical instruments well and thoroughly enjoyed music, especially jazz. He owned several Porsches and in ’72 purchased a bright yellow 911 that he kept for the next 40 + years, eventually selling it to his enthusiastic nephew, Ken Hessel, to restore and enjoy. In the early ‘80’s he got his flying credentials and owned and flew a Grumman American Tiger single engine plane for over 12 years, using it for weekend trips and making several cross country journeys with some exciting tales to tell. He and Sandy also loved their many Easter weekend trips to Williamsburg, Virginia as well as long fall weekend trips to Capon Springs, West Virginia which the family frequented over the years. While in Europe, Bruce planned walking holidays (two favorites were to the Black Forest in Germany and the northern Cotswold’s in the UK). He also planned tours for friends and family around many of his and Sandy’s favorite spots. He was famous for his lengthy itineraries! Back in the states he and Sandy enjoyed supporting local theater groups they enjoyed so much. After “retirement” Bruce also dove into his families’ genealogy; and never doing things half way he took courses to become a Master Genealogist. Yes, it is also true that Bruce was often told he looked like the Canadian actor Donald Sutherland – even being asked by fans for his autograph. He was well known and loved for his ability to argue both sides of an issue and enjoyed “debates” late into the evening with friends and anyone willing to stay up that late. Oh, and he loved Mexican food! Bruce is survived by his wife of 35 years, Sandy Warren Owens, his sister Susie [Gil] Hough of Honolulu, Hawaii and their family including a daughter, Susan Peake [Harvey] a predeceased son, Michael Hough, a granddaughter Nalani Hough Dowty [Kiefer], and their daughter Aurora Hough-Dowty as well as grandson, Sean Hough. He will be forever remembered also by Sandy’s extended family, including his sister-in-law, the Rev. Linda [the Rev. Darryl] Hessel, Sandy’s niece and nephews and great nieces and nephews. Bruce was a big presence in the lives of those who knew him … He was much loved and is already very much missed! His service will be private. Memorial gifts may be made in his name to: The Pulmonary Hypertension Association – 801 Roeder Rd. (Ste. 100), Silver Spring, Maryland 20910.

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    The Fischer Family
    The Fischer Family would like to extend their sincere condolences and sympathies during this difficult time.
    Moira CarmichaelOct 14 2017 01:54 pm
    With much sorrow I send dear Bruce's family my condolences. We will always have Bruce in our hearts, great memories of our years in Brussels. God give all of you his support to continue with strength on the hard days to come.
    Bob and melva gardnerOct 11 2017 05:26 pm
    Sandy, We are old time friends of Bruce..He was one of our groomsmen in our wedding back in 1961, Los Angeles. My husband Bob Gardner ,Larry Pittman,and Bruce were in the Sea Explorers together,and Also Bob Larry would go over to his folks to play cards many a times..He was a great guy to pal around ,went camping to black mountain. He came to visit us once in Clovis Ca and lost touch with him..we are so saddened with his passing. Condolences to Owens fam. Bob and Melva Gardner 489 Burgan Clovis ,Calif
    Jeff PittmanOct 10 2017 07:49 pm
    I was very fortunate to know Bruce when I was growing up back in the 60’s and 70’s through my father, Larry Pittman. We practically lived with Bruce during summers in Belmont Shore when we would sail, BBQ, and hang out at the beach. Dinner parties frequently followed golf tournaments where Bruce and Larry made quite a team. The attached photo is from my high school graduation back in 1979 and that’s Larry on the right. Bruce looks like a million in his three piece suit. I remember at one point his study included a recently built micro wave oven (the first any of us had ever seen), a clarinet, a saxophone, and enough books to fill a library. Such an amazing guy.
    Jeff Pittman
    Anna CataneseOct 10 2017 07:57 am
    I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to a life well lived and loved. My thoughts are with you Sandy and your family.
    Fischer Funeral CareOct 9 2017 02:31 pm
    In Loving Memory
    Fischer Funeral Care
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