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Janet Leigh Owen

Janet Leigh Owen completed her journey here on earth on July 17, 2013 at home in Winston-Salem, N.C., surrounded by her loving family.

Janet was born in South Boston on Aug. 19, 1968 to Walter E. Owen Jr. and June Martin Owen who survive. She was 44 years old. She moved to Gaylord, Mich. with her parents in 1970 and went through the Gaylord School System. She graduated from Gaylord High School and Hope College in Holland, Mich. before returning to her southern roots. 

Janet has made her home in Winston Salem, N.C. for the past 14 years.

Janet is a long-time member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem. She served as president of the board of trustees from 2009-2011 and as the chair of the Social Action Council from 2011 to 2013. She is a co-founder of Soul Talk at the fellowship. 

During her years at the fellowship she was a member of many other committees and groups including the library committee, the building use task force, music committee, chair of Interweave, group leader for small group ministry and many other groups. 

Janet always said, though, that her favorite way to serve the fellowship was service leader on Sunday mornings. She said she absolutely loved standing up in front of the congregation and seeing everyone’s smiling faces.

Janet was quite actively involved in several community groups. She had worked with CHANGE for many  ears, and she served as a member of CHANGE’s strategy team until her death. She was a co-founder of Interfaith Voice, and served as its co-chair until her death. 

Janet was selected as one of Winston-Salem’s honored citizens for its centennial celebration in May of 2013.

Janet is survived by her wife and partner of 15 years, Seretha Masdon; her parents of Gaylord, Mich.; a sister, Susan (Keith) Rosso, of Macomb Twp, Mich.; a brother-in law, Joe Masdon, of Burlington, N.C.; a sister-in-law, Connie (Patrick) Riser, of Macon, Ga.; and nieces and nephews, Stephanie (Mickey) Lovy of Stuttgart, Germany, Paige and Piper Riser of Macon, Ga., and Jonathan and Robert Masdon
of Burlington, N.C. 

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Herbert and Lucille Martin and Walter (Buster) and Lora Owen.

A celebration of her life and legacy was held Saturday, July 27, at 10 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4055 Robinhood Road,Winston Salem, N.C. The Rev. Lisa Romantum Schwartz officiating. 

A reception and visitation with family followed the service.

Those wishing to make a donation in her memory might consider: CHANGE, 639 South Green St., Winston-Salem, N.C. 27101 - Mission, Social Justice and Equality. The Adam Foundation, P.O. Box 21113, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27120-1113 - Mission, LBGT community Athena’s Run, 1010 Bethesda Court, Winston Salem, N.C. 27103 - Mission - GYN cancer research and aid.