Rufus Owen III, 90, of Hyco Heights Farm, Alton, died Sunday, March 12, 2023. He was born in Cluster Springs on Nov. 5, 1932 to the late Rufus Owen Jr. and the late Sue Washington Thomas Owen. He was married to Hallie Dickinson Torian Owen who predeceased him.
After finishing high school, he attended Presbyterian Junior College for one year and then transferred to V.P.I. where he pursued a course in animal husbandry. After graduating from V.P.I. with a bachelor of science degree in animal husbandry, he was drafted into the U.S. Navy.
Upon discharge from the Navy, he went back to V.P.I. as college shepherd which entailed caring for the three purebred flocks.
After leaving V.P.I. as college shepherd, he was employed by the Virginia State Weights and Measures where he worked for five years. He then worked for Otis Elevator Company for five years.
In the early 1970s, the Virginia State Legislature mandated that all jurisdictions in the state have a building code department. Before this, Halifax County had no building code department. He applied and was hired as building official.
With this job, the family moved back to Halifax County and settled in at Hyco Heights. For the next 25 years, he and Emmet Lewis worked in the Building Code department for Halifax County.
Upon retiring from the building code department, he continued running the family farm — cattle, hay, etc. — which he greatly enjoyed.
Rufus was a member of Mount Carmel Presbyterian Church where he served as clerk of session for many years.
He is survived by one sister, Sue Washington Owen Potter (Ed), of Oxford, N.C.; three sons, Rufus Owen IV, Raleigh, N.C.; Daniel S. Owen (Mary) of Charlotte, N.C.; and Jackson Taylor Owen (Tina) of Virgilina.
Rufus was preceded in death by one sister, Virginia Easley Owen Thorne (Tom) of New Jersey and one brother, George Thomas Owen (Jeanette) of Nashville, Tenn..
Graveside services will be held Saturday, March 18, at 2 p.m. at the Owen family cemetery at Sunnyview, 7005 Huell Matthews Highway, Alton.
Memorials may be sent to the Bible Broadcasting Network, P.O. Box 7300, Charlotte, NC 28241; or Mount Carmel Presbyterian Church, 4231 Turbeville Road, South Boston, VA 24592-6677; or Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department, Cluster Springs, VA.
Arrangements are by Brooks Lyon Funeral Home.
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