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Elizabeth Evelyn Owsley


Elizabeth Evelyn Owsley, 102, went home to heaven on Feb. 10, 2022 at Heritage Health in Carlinville.

She was born on May 15, 1919 on their farm in York Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. She was a breech baby delivered by her father before the doctor arrived.

Her early education was at York School in Jonestown, Ohio where she graduated from high school.

She attended the former Karr Business College in Van Wert. While in Van Wert she worked several retail jobs as well as at the former Borden Cheese Factory and did secretarial work at the Van Wert County Extension office. Her secretarial skills helped her work her way through college. She received her undergraduate degree from Taylor University. She attended New York Biblical for one year. In 1946 she transferred to Asbury Theological Seminary where she completed her masters degree in religious education. While at Asbury she met a fellow student, Clarence Torrie Owsley, Jr. from Alamosa, Colorado. They united in marriage on June 28, 1947. After their marriage they pastored four churches in Mercer County, Ohio.

Their first posting as missionaries was to Port au Prince, Haiti from 1950-51. Their first son Philip was born in Haiti. While she was in the hospital giving birth, Clarence got his Jeep stolen out from under him and made his way back to the city where his wife and baby were in the hospital.

In 1952 they began their work in Brazil under the Oriental Missionary Society (now renamed One Mission Society), where they were pioneer missionaries. While serving under OMS they lived in Maringa, Campinas, Londrina, and Sao Paulo, Brazil where their second son Paul was born. In the States they lived in Van Wert, OH, Wichita, KS, and Wilmore, KY.

Under the Free Methodist Mission they lived in Winona Lake, IN where the their third son Lewis Daniel was born. They served in Sao Paulo, Brazil at the Mirandopolis, Vila Morais, and Vila Galvao Churches, as well as the cities of Neves Paulista and Mairipora. In the States they served a Free Methodist pastorate in Arcola, (1980-83).
After retirement in 1986 they served the Hillsdale Free Methodist Church in Hillsdale, MI as ministers of visitation. They also served in Brazil as short term missionaries.
After their re-retirement they volunteered at the Van Wert County Pregnancy Life Center and hosted a weekly prayer and Bible study. They also translated letters for a Brazilian Children’s home.

Clarence entered heaven in Dec. of 2011. Elizabeth carried on alone and even into her 90s gave morning devotionals to nursing home patients and occasionally sitting with the dying. She filled in for the chaplain when needed. Elizabeth was an expert cook and hosted many guests for meals or overnight in Brazil and the States.

Elizabeth is survived by three sons, Philip (Chris) Owsley of New Berlin, Wisconsin, Paul (Marsha) Owsley of Chesterfield, Dan (Hope) Owsley, of Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, South America; brother, Fred (Judy) Good of Charlotte, MI and a sister-in-law, Marilyn Owsley of Alamosa, CO.; 10 grandchildren: Mary Beth (Ben) Kessler, Laura (Joe) Tregellas, Polly (Mike) Wallis, Peter (Becky) Owsley, Jessamy (Dominic) Matarelli, Clark Owsley, Steven Owsley, David Owsley, Nathan (Megan) Owsley, and Andrew Owsley; 15 great grandchildren, Delphina and Paxton Kessler, Tye and Eliza Tregellas, Brendon and Kyle Wallis, Haley, Andy, and Owen Owsley, Samuel, Benjamin, Georgia, Vanessa, Teddy, and Leo Matarelli; numerous nieces and nephews.

Elizabeth was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis and Dora Good; brothers, Byron H. Good (Helen), Paul L. Good (Alice), Don Good (Jane), and her husband Clarence T. Owsley, Jr.

Services were held on Saturday, February 19, 2022, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Van Wert with Pastor Ward Sussenbach officiating. Interment will be in Van Wert Woodland Cemetery.

Memorials may be designated for One Mission Society, Van Wert Pregnancy Life Center, Kingsley United Methodist Church, or donor’s choice.