August 3, 1933 - April 7, 2020
Corita Patterson Owen passed peacefully from this life to the next on April 7, 2020, at Guggenheimer Health and Rehabilitation Center in Lynchburg. She was 86 years old. The daughter of James Edward Patterson and Mildred (Clark) Patterson, she was born in Rockbridge County. A child of the Great Depression, she and her family learned the value of self-reliance and laughter. A kind and gentle soul, she went on to share both lessons with family and many friends.
Following high school and graduation from Phillips Business College in Lynchburg, Corita worked in Lynchburg, where a mutual friend introduced her to Ray Owen of Nathalie. The friend did a good job of picking compatible people, and their marriage would have celebrated sixty-five years this June.
She and Ray were partners in Owen Lumber, a timber, logging, and sawmill operation. Corita had many opportunities to apply her accounting and business management skills over the following decades, both for the mill and as the treasurer of Clover Bottom Baptist Church in Stovall.
Corita led a full life and enjoyed the opportunity to travel widely in the Americas and in Europe. Closer to home, she enjoyed gardening and the simple pleasures of country life. She was an accomplished cook and produce from her garden and from neighbors’ gardens was often incorporated into dishes for friends and church events. Some have particularly fond memories of summertime dinners and being served homemade ice cream with fresh peaches.
She is survived by her husband, Ray; her son, Ray Owen, Jr. and daughter-in-law, Charissa Willard, of Los Gatos California; her sister Rosa Trussell, of Lexington; her sister Ardena “Deanie” Coleman, of Buena Vista; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
We find ourselves in extraordinary times, when gatherings are suspended to protect everyone’s health. Corita has been interred in a private service. As the present conditions improve, there will be an announcement of a memorial service and celebration of her life.
Corita will be deeply missed by friends, family, and the many people who knew her well. Her family is grateful to everyone who graced her life, to her physicians and caregivers, and to those who serve in the Centra Hospice program. We are overwhelmed by the concern and the compassion shown to us in our time of sadness and remembrance. Your expressions of love and your recollections help us to ease this journey.