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1930 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Owens Sr.April 13, 1930 - May 24, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY Retired Judge Charles L. Owens passed away on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, with his wife of 59 years, Edythe, by his side. He was born and raised in Tulsa and graduated Booker T. Washington High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a minor in economics from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO. After serving in the U.S. Army, he returned to Tulsa and became a police officer while attending the Tulsa University College of Law. In 1960, he became the first African American to earn a Juris Doctor from TU. In 1963, he made history as the first African-American Assistant Attorney General in Oklahoma. Five years later, he broke the color barrier again when he was appointed as a District Judge in Oklahoma County, a seat he held for more than three decades. In that capacity, he handled many challenging cases, including presiding over the murder trial of the Sirloin Stockade killer, Roger Dale Stafford. Indeed, just before Judge Owens sentenced Stafford for the murder of six people, Mr. Stafford thanked him for conducting a fair trial. Judge Owens has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years, including the OBA Trailblazer Award in 2012. He received the award because of his remarkable leadership and lasting impact on many of Oklahoma's current attorneys, judges and African-American leaders. Judge Owens was an incredible jurist and he will be missed. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 59 years, Edythe; his daughter, Melanie; and a host of family and friends. Visitation will be held at Temple and Sons Funeral Directors Inc. on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 1 to 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 1010 N.E. 16th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73117, followed by burial services at the Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled, 8421 N Walker Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73114.
Published in The Oklahoman on May 29, 2016
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