Cover photo for Robert E. Owen's Obituary
Robert E. Owen Profile Photo

Robert E. Owen

April 19, 1942 — October 16, 2023


Robert E. Owen

Robert Edward “Bob” Owen passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on October 16 with his loving family by his side following a long illness.  He was 81 years old and the beloved husband of 54 years to Kathleen (Kearns) Owen.

Raised in Brighton and a longtime resident of Reading, Bob was the only child of the late Robert and Eunice (Bowen) Owen.  He was a graduate of St. Columbkille School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College.  He had a long career at Johnson & Higgins as an insurance underwriter, traveling daily into Boston for 30+ years.

Bob was a natural people person who saw the good in everyone and embodied a spirit of kindness.  He enjoyed speaking with everyone and had a friendliness that let him build connections with ease.   He never missed an opportunity to get together with family and friends, and whenever there was someone in need of support, he would extend his characteristic helpfulness and scoop them under his wing.

A devoted family man, Bob raised four children together with his wife with warmth and love.  He was the inspiration to his family to get out and experience the world.  He enjoyed taking his family on many excursions, including an annual vacation to Cape Cod as well as trips throughout New England and beyond.

In his retirement, Bob continued to broaden his travels with his wife.  He also discovered the joy of being a grandfather to eight loving grandchildren, who affectionately referred to him as “Pappy”, and treasured his time with them.  He was pre-deceased by granddaughter, Kayla Nitchie.

Bob was a devout Catholic and a member of St. Athanasius Church in Reading, where he sang in the choir, was a Eucharistic minister, and was an alter server for Mass for many years.

In addition to his wife Kathleen, Bob will be dearly missed and forever in the hearts of his four children, Janice (Jan), and her husband Stephen, of Lincoln; Robert (Bob), of Londonderry, NH; Deborah (Debbie), and her husband, Jason, of Littleton; and Dianne (Dee Dee), and her husband Bill, of West Newbury.  He was cherished and will be missed by his grandchildren: Connor, Liam, Brayden, Ryan, Will, Carly, Sophia, and Everett.

Funeral from the Doherty Barile Family Funeral Home 11 Linden St. READING on Friday October 20th, 2023 at 9:30 am followed by a Funeral Mass Celebrating Bob's Eternal Life in Christ the King Parish 300 Haverhill St. Reading at 10:30 am. Interment Calvary Cemetery, Winchester.

Family and friends are kindly invited to gather and share memories with the family on Thursday  October 19th, 2023 from 4 pm to 8 pm in the funeral home. Parking attendants and elevator available.

Please consider donations in memory of Bob to the Alzheimer's Association at


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert E. Owen, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, October 19, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Barile Family Funeral Home-Reading

11 Linden Street, Reading, MA 01867

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Friday, October 20, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

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Friday, October 20, 2023

12:00 - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

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