Posted 10 months ago
Robert E. Owens, 89, of Cozad, passed away Sept. 12, 2013, at the Golden Living Care Center in Cozad.
Robert was born Aug. 23, 1924, in North Platte, to Edwin H. “Curly” and Irene (Gorum) Owens. He attended country school through the eighth grade, and later graduated from Cozad High School in 1942. He attended Iowa State College for a year before entering the U.S. Army in 1944.
Robert was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., in field artillery, and from there went to the European Theater of War and joined the 5th Division, 46th Field Artillery in General George Patton’s 3rd Army. After taking Frankfurt, Germany, and the last few weeks of the Battle of the Bulge, Robert was sent to Paris to type shipping lists. He later returned to Fort Campbell, Ky. In December 1945, Robert married his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth Perry, and in June of 1946, he was honorably discharged from the military.
Robert and Elizabeth then moved to Lincoln, where he attended the University of Nebraska School of Architecture. In 1951, the couple moved to Omaha where Robert began working with Leo A. Daly, Planning, Architecture and Engineering Company. His work required that he travel worldwide designing interiors for commercial and public buildings in the Middle East, Far East, Europe and throughout the United States. Some of the Omaha projects in food service and interiors that Robert was involved with include the Woodman Tower and Top of the World Restaurant, The Omaha Club, Clarkson Hospital, Mutual of Omaha Dome, Orpheum Theater restoration, and Westside Public Schools. Projects throughout the U.S. included the Air Force Academy dining hall; Barbary Coast casino and penthouse, Las Vegas, Nev.; National Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., and Air Force Kitchens in Alaska. His international projects included the Bali Hotel in Indonesia and the Arabian National Complex and Hospital in Saudia Arabia. Robert was named vice president of interior and food service design in 1974, and held this position until he retired.
Robert was involved with many civic organizations, including board of directors for the Omaha Symphony Association, the national board of directors for Food Service Consultants Society, and the board of directors for the Nebraska/Iowa Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers. Robert was a member and past elder of the Presbyterian Church of the Cross in Omaha, and was a 32nd Degree Mason and a Shriner.
Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth; his parents; his sister, Marillyn Schmeeckle; his brothers-in-law, Willis Schmeeckle and Samuel Perry, MD; his sister-in-law, Patricia Perry, PhD., and his nephew, Robert Schmeeckle.
Survivors include nephews, Samuel (Lynda) Perry II, MD of North Platte; Kurt Schmeeckle and Jon (Donna) Schmeeckle, all of San Mateo, Calif; his nieces, Patricia (Randall) Kampfe, of Decatur, Ill.; and Ann (Rich) Audsley, of Evergreen, Colo.
Memorials are suggested to the Wilson Public Library, 910 Meridian Ave., Cozad, NE 69130, or the Central Plains Home Health & Hospice, 835 Meridian Ave., PO Box 207, Cozad, NE 69130. Condolences may be shared online at berrymanfuneral home.com.
Graveside services will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Cozad Cemetery, with Pastor Elaine Besthorn officiating. Lunch will be provided following the service at Walker’s Steak House, Gothenburg. Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad is in charge of arrangements.