Funeral arrangements made for Peaches Owen, longtime Tyler philanthropist

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Peaches Owen, long known for her and her late husband Louis’ philanthropic generosity to East Texas, has died.

A visitation has been scheduled for Thursday evening, December 13 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. with a rosary following. A funeral service will be held on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. followed by a graveside service and a reception in Peaches Hall. Both services will be held at St. Mary Magdalene in Flint.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to:

  • Literacy Council of Tyler
  • Cowan Center at UT Tyler
  • Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County

Owen was known for funding charitable projects across the area, including the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital.

Born Alberta Gonsoulin, she married Louis Owen in Houston in 1955. They met in high school and married while Louis was a student at Rice University.

Louis went to work in the oil and gas industry, where they made their fortune. But, citing their Catholic faith, the two decided to give as much of that fortune away as possible in financial gifts large and small.

“Was dearly important to her was that both her children and her grandchildren, coming generations, would learn to give,” said Dawn Franks, executive director of Louis & Peaches Owen Family Foundation.

The couple established the Louis & Peaches Owen Family Foundation in 2006 which became the vehicle through which they gave millions of dollars to organizations that support education, health, human services, and Christian faith.

In 2008, The Owen Family Foundation pledged $110,000 to make history by establishing the first chemistry scholarship at The University of Texas at Tyler.

Named after their eldest son, the John Kermit Owen Endowed Chemistry Scholarship was established to assist future chemists with their education.

Owen, who was the president of the foundation and successful chemical engineer in the petroleum refining industry for over 40 years, placed a high value on education as a means for cultural development and training.

In 2010, to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary, the Owens donated $18 million to Trinity Mother Frances Health System to build the Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital.

“Peaches passed from this world and rejoined her husband, Louis, exactly seven years to the very day of the opening of the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital,” said Scott Fossey, Vice President of Philanthropy, CHRISTUS Health Northeast Texas, Louisiana & Southeast Texas.

“Peaches and Louis Owen have left Northeast Texas a tremendous legacy of love, compassion and healing that will continue to touch the lives of future generations. Perhaps providentially, Peaches passed from this world and rejoined her husband, Louis, exactly seven years to the very day of the opening of the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital,” said Fossey.

The two were lifelong Catholics and longtime parishioners of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler and then St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Flint. They donated money to build much of St. Mary Magdalene, including a parish hall which bears the name Peaches Hall.

In a statement marking her passing, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances said:

With the passing of Peaches Owen, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System, CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic and the Northeast Texas health care community lost a generous, compassionate, and supportive family member. We are grateful for the legacy of encouragement and philanthropy she – alongside her husband Louis – have left behind in their name.

“Mrs. Owen was a friend and constant encouragement to us for many years, and played a vital, lifesaving role in the lives of so many through her support of our mission and the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital,” said Chris Glenney, FACHE, Senior Vice President of Group Operations, CHRISTUS Health, Chief Executive Officer, CHRISTUS Health Northeast Texas, President, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System. “She leaves a legacy behind that is cherished by every member of the leadership team, the physicians, Associates and countless patients whose lives have been forever changed for the better.”

“Not only did Mrs. Owen bring the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital to our Northeast Texas community, but she regularly reminded our teams that the building was only as good as the people who served in it. Peaches inspired our teams to be their very best, and we are both blessed and honored that Mr. and Mrs. Owen chose us to carry on the great legacy that they’ve left our community,” said Deb Chelette, RN, BSN, MHA, Vice President, Operations, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital.

“Peaches and Louis Owen have left Northeast Texas a tremendous legacy of love, compassion and healing that will continue to touch the lives of future generations. Perhaps providentially, Peaches passed from this world and rejoined her husband, Louis, exactly seven years to the very day of the opening of the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital,” said Scott Fossey, Vice President of Philanthropy, CHRISTUS Health Northeast Texas, Louisiana & Southeast Texas. “Peaches’ infectious enthusiasm and passion to help others will never be forgotten by her extended CHRISTUS family within the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System. The Owen family’s philanthropic generosity and compassionate desire to help the people of Northeast Texas will live on for generations. The hope and healing their gifts have and will continue to provide through their immediate family will impact families across Northeast Texas and this nation for decades to come as an extension of His healing ministry. Our prayers are with the entire family during this difficult time.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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