Michael Anthony Owen was born in Kansas City to George D Owen and Anna Sonich Owen on October 13, 1940. He attended Kansas City schools graduating from Rockhurst High School and was appointed to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, graduating in 1963. He then received his appointment to
Naval Air training in Pensacola, Florida. After receiving his wings he was immediately sent to fly reconnaissance in the Gulf of Tonkin at the beginning of the Vietnam War. As he was fluent in Russian, Spanish, Italian and Arabic he flew many reconnaissance missions alongside aviators from other countries. He spoke of conversations with Russian aviators when he was stationed in Sitka, Alaska along the US and Russian border. He said it was eye-opening to note that these men had the same love for their country and families he had for his and they conversed openly.
While in the service he met with many interesting individuals. James Lovell, also a graduate of the US Naval Academy, gifted Michael a picture he took while on Apollo 8. He was also privileged to spend many hours while home on leave conversing with President Truman in his Independence home. President Truman gifted Michael with numerous signed memorabilia.
After he completed his naval air tour he continued his forward-looking entrepreneur-ship. Some of his endeavors included opening a maternity shop in Saudi Arabia for US personnel and the military. While in Saudi he did a stint as radio news commentator. He also opened a disco called Bella Blue in the Dominican Republic and that is still operating today. Once he had numerous businesses established he returned to Kansas City and received his LLD from UMKC. He continued his businesses and law practice until his death in 1992. His sister Mary Ann Reed resides in Brookfield, Missouri. His brother George is in
Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
submitted by Mary Ann Reed