Obituary: Dessie Mae Owens

Dessie Mae Bullock Owens was called home on April 6, 2022, at her daughter’s home in Arkadelphia. Her love, support and commitment to her family were only exceeded by her faith, belief and love for our Heavenly Father who she now joins.

Dessie Mae was born July 17, 1931, in Sparkman, to John Ivory and Dessie Lee Brim Bullock. She was the eldest daughter born to this couple. Following high school graduation from the now historic Peake High School, Dessie moved to Rockford, Illinois.

In October of 1959, she married Roosevelt Owens and they were married for 39 years until his passing on October 8, 1998. She worked for several years as a home health worker. She always sowed seeds of patience and being kind knowing one day she would reap that same harvest.

While in Rockford she was a member of Gomez Chapel AME Church for over 30 years. Dessie loved to shop and always kept the latest suit, hat, and purse. She was an Eastern Star and a member of Queen Ester Lodge. In addition to spending time with family, she loved to travel back and forth to Rockford, dance, and fellowship with her family and friends.

From childhood through adulthood, Dessie was always affiliated with a body of believers. She supported her brother-in-law and sister, Elder G. C., and Missionary Nolen in their ministry at New Hope COGIC where she was a member.  She served as an usher and with the hospitality ministry.

Dessie later moved back to Arkansas and worked yet again as a home health provider with “It’s All About You”. She made lasting friendships with clients, families, and the other staff. Her hobbies included watching wrestling, cooking, and bowling. As a way to stay connected she created the CB handle “Lady Soul”. One attribute that stood out about Dessie was her will of independence. She was truly lived to be a blessing and not a burden. She will be sorely missed by family, her New Hope family, friends, colleagues, and any life that she touched.

She leaves 10 children: Annie Sue Avington of Rockford, Ill., Robert Huddleston of Rockford, Ill., Linda (Joseph) Vawters of Rockford, Ill., Roosevelt Owens Jr. of Arkadelphia, Dessie A. Owens-Page of Arkadelphia, Vivian Rouse of Hot Springs Village, Eva Owens of Rockford, Ill., Paul Owens of Arkadelphia, Pauline Owens of Arkadelphia, and Keith (Sharitta) Owens of Rockford, Ill.; 26 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She also leaves a bonus son, John (Vanessa) Owens of Ocala, Fla.; a godson, Larry Buckley; two goddaughters, Yolanda Daniels and Karen Dowthard; as well as nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in passing by her parents, John Ivory Bullock and Dessie Lee Brim Bullock; her sister, Annie Nolen who transitioned on April 4, 2020; and two grandsons, Abraham James Owens and Timothy Lamont Clark.

A celebration of her life will be shared with family and friends on Saturday, April 16, 2022, at noon at the Rec Center in Feaster Park, with Superintendent Leroy Williams, eulogist. Interment will be at Harmony Community Cemetery.

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