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UPDATE: Services for Catherine Augusta Owen, originally scheduled for March 20 at the Good Samaritan Society – Silver Wood in Silverton, ID, have been postponed until further notice. Services will be rescheduled and announced by Shoshone Funeral Services, Kellogg, ID. Please sign the online guestbook and check for further updates at www.shoshonefuneralservice.com. Shoshone Funeral Services, Kellogg, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Catherine Augusta Owen, 105, of Silverton, ID, passed away on Sunday, February 16, 2020, at the Good Samaritan Society – Silver Wood Village in Silverton. Catherine was born on March 9, 1914 in Seattle, WA, a daughter of the late William H. Newlon and Augusta Palmer Newlon, joining her 6-year old sister, Twyla. She had many fond memories of growing up in the small mining town of Cabinet, ID and surviving the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19. When Catherine was 9, a three-quarter grand piano was delivered to her home by a team of horses. She soon discovered she was gifted with the ability to play by ear and a lifetime of bringing joy to others through music began.
The family moved to the Silver Valley in 1931 and Catherine graduated from Kellogg High School a year later. During the Depression, she worked three jobs including being a news reporter for the Wallace Press Times. She met Richard L. Owen while on assignment at a coroner’s inquest and they married in 1936. Eventually settling in Silverton, Catherine devoted the rest of her life to sharing her faith, serving the community with her music, and baking delicious homemade cookies, pies, and pecan rolls.
Catherine’s love for children, music, and Jesus led her to double as teacher and musician for the non-denominational Silverton Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for over 40 years. In its heyday, VBS attracted teachers and students from every church in the valley as well as those without a church home. She also spent 35 years inspiring hundreds of children to love Jesus and to love others at an after-school Good News (Bible) Club. In the 1970’s, Catherine was the accompanist for a young people’s choir, the One Way Club, that performed at many valley functions as well as appearing four times on the Sunday School of the Air TV program on KXLY. For most of those years, she got a good workout playing on a portable pump organ rather than a piano.
As a long-time member of the Silverton Community Church and volunteer at Silver Wood Good Samaritan Village, Catherine played piano three to four times a week for church, Bible study, Sing-Along, and birthday celebrations. Amazingly she continued in that capacity up until two weeks before she went to be with the Lord. About ten years ago, Catherine was named Good Sam Volunteer of the Year and also received Governor Butch Otter’s 2013 Brightest Star Idaho Senior Volunteer of the Year award.
Catherine’s piano skills were legendary. In addition to hymns, she enjoyed playing jazz, ballroom tunes, folk songs, and spirituals.
Catherine is survived by a nephew, Jeffrey (Dori) Becker of Lake Oswego, OR; two grand-nephews, Stephen and David; Jeff’s grandchildren, J.J. and Hennessy; as well as many dear friends and former students who have been impacted tremendously by her inspirational life.
A memorial service for Catherine will be held on Friday, March 20, 2020, 2:00 PM at the Good Samaritan Society – Silver Wood Village. Memorial donations to Silverton Community Church, PO Box 358, Silverton, ID 83867, or to Shoshone Pet Rescue, PO Box 884, Kellogg, ID 83837.
Messages of condolence may be sent to the family online at www.shoshonefuneralservice.com. Shoshone Funeral Services of Kellogg is assisting the family with arrangements.
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