Former Rep. Owens Remembered as Man Who Touched Many

Former Rep. Owens Remembered as Man Who Touched Many

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Political specialist Richard Piatt reporting

From Congress to peace in the Middle East, Wayne Owens is remembered today as a mentor, a leader, a kind man.

A unique and irreplaceable figure in Utah politics has been laid to rest.

Former Congressman Wayne Owens was remembered in funeral services today as a man who touched countless lives in many ways.

Wayne Owens was the type of person who is remembered on many levels: family man, friend to many, and of course, as a unique politician.

It was clear at his funeral that his memory, and his work, is the kind that will remain alive for a lot of people.

He's remembered in many ways. At his funeral, people used words like, intensity, conviction, vision and compassion.

His funeral program said simply: 'In Gratitude.'

Gratitude for so many things -- a lot of them now captured only as flickering images from the past.

But there is also gratitude for things that matter now, and that will matter in the future.

"It's also a great loss for the cause of peace in the Middle East. And loss for the cause for wilderness preservation," says Mayor Rocky Anderson.

"He was an environmentalist before it was cool. He was a civil rights guy in this state when civil rights was a declining public issue. He fought for education in a very deep way," says Ted Wilson with the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

It was in politics where Wayne Owens became a household name.

He is perhaps best known for literally walking the state in his 1972 campaign for Congress.

In his four terms in Washington, he made his mark as a man both Democrats and Republicans could respect.

From thriving as a Democrat in Utah, to working for peace in the Middle East, Wayne Owens was a man who took on tough tasks, and pulled them off before being cut short at the age of 65.

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