August 1923 – April 26, 2013
Owen died peacefully at St. Joseph’s Hospital as the result of two strokes suffered approximately 3 weeks apart. He was predeceased by his wife Winona in 1970. He is survived by their three children Barbara, Donald and Margot, 9 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Gwendolen of Vancouver.
Owen lived in Comox for 87 of his 89 years, having arrived here from Saskatchewan with his family. His childhood spawned his lifelong love of golf – the course was located adjacent to the family home and he caddied for many years for Tom Graham – 50 cents for 18 holes. He was a gifted athlete and excelled at most things he attempted – the other main sport in his youth was basketball.
He joined the Air Force near the end of WW11- was trained as a pilot, but much to his annoyance didn’t ever serve overseas. He worked in his father’s store (The Bay Store) for a period of time, and in 1946 when George Ellis retired, Owen took over the grocery portion of the business, building a store across the street which he ran as “The Bay Store” for 20 years. He married in 1946 and the family and the store came first, although whenever possible he was on the golf course and entering tournaments up and down the Island. He was a volunteer fireman, a member of Kiwanis and the Comox Legion.
In 1966, he was able to partially retire, having built the Comox Centre Mall in partnership with his late brother Ron. This allowed him time to golf every afternoon, and 8:00 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays unless he was in a tournament out of town. He forged many friendships with other competitors from other courses, and the friendly betting (dollar, dollar, dollar) was always part of the fun. He enjoyed fishing and gardening and was happy to show others the pictures of his flowers. He entered the Canadian senior tournaments for many years, and as a result, travelled to most of the Provinces across Canada. There were some very memorable trips – mostly relating to events off the course, not on!
Owen holds many records at the Comox Golf Club, but the accomplishment he was most proud of was competing for and obtaining a spot in 1983 on the 4 man B.C. Senior Interprovincial Golf Team.
Owen will be missed by many in the golfing community, especially the Men’s Division of the Comox Golf Club, who established the Owen Ellis Trophy for the net and gross winners of the annual Closing Day Tournament to recognize the many achievements he had at the Club. He won his first Club Championship in 1941 and his last (his 21st) in 1992. He will also be missed by many in the business community who will agree that his handshake was as good as a contract.
At Owen’s request, there will be no service, but a family gathering will be held at a later date. Flowers are gratefully declined. If desired, donations may be made to YANA (You Are Not Alone) 495 Fitzgerald Ave., Courtenay, B.C. V9N 2R1, or a charity of your choice.
Owen was also survived by his wife Doris, and his long time friend, school chum, fishing buddy and bridge partner, George.