George “Dick” R. Owen

February 17, 1936 — March 27, 2024


   SPARTA - George “Dick” R. Owen, age 88, died Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 in Sparta, WI. He was the eldest of the Owen clan born on February 17, 1936, to George and Catherine (Isensee) Owen. After high school graduation, Dick worked at a local gas station and then went to work for his father at the family business, Owen’s Pool Hall. In 1958, he was drafted into the Army and was stationed in Texas. He enjoyed his time in the army and was proud that he was able to serve. He had many fun stories that he shared - some that involved good times in Mexico.

   After his time with the army, Dick stepped in after his father’s death to manage the pool hall. He owned and operated the pool hall for 37 years. Dick worked the bar during the day and supervised from afar at night - no night was complete without several drive-byes to check on the bar and see how many patrons were enjoying a beverage. He sponsored several softball teams over the years and still has some of the championship softballs from those seasons.

   Dick enjoyed fishing locally with friends and nephews and took many trips to Canada with good friends. The fishing trips were the highlight of his summer and many tall fish tales were told along with spirited discussions in the boat. Dick was also an avid reader; his bookshelves are filled with suspense, action, and western novels. He was a Wisconsin sports fan with baseball and football being his favorites – forever a Brewer and Packer fan. He enjoyed traveling and had some great adventures with his sister Mary and dear friends, Colette and Terry Burkwalt.

   Anyone that knew Dick, knew his favorite pastime was taking a drive. He toured every road in Monroe and surrounding counties and savored his time behind the wheel. He drove so much that he usually owned two cars -too many miles for one car to handle. His catch phrase was – ”Wanna go for a short ride?” usually returning his passengers two to three hours later. He loved time in the car with family and friends driving around and soaking in the beautiful scenery and looking for wildlife. Dick never married but was blessed to have many friends and a large extended family.  Uncle Dick was always included in all family gatherings and celebrations.

   Dick is survived by his sister, Mary Lincoln of Sparta; and brother, Bill Owen of Bettendorf, IA; nieces and nephews, Bob and Kathy Zay of Sparta, Jeff and Tammy Zay of Sparta, Ann and Mike Phillips of Altoona, Stephanie and Mike James of Oshkosh, Chris Lincoln of Sparta, Cathy Owen of Bettendorf, and Amy and Ted Welter of Iowa City, IA. He is further survived by great-nieces and great-nephews, Sarah Zay, Becky and Ryan Lakowske, Marsha Zay, Jennifer and Steve Borowski, Justin Zay, Jeremy Zay, Mallory Phillips, Hannah Phillips, Matt Phillips, Maddie James, Luke James, Liz James, Derek Lincoln, Tyren Lincoln, Ashton Lincoln, Morgan Welter, Mason Welter, and Emma Welter.

   In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Jim Zay; sister-in-law, Barb Owen; and nephew, Jason Lincoln.

   The family extends sincere thanks to the staff at the Morrow Home and to all of Dick’s friends who supported him in his final days, especially Colette and Terry Burkwalt.

   A Memorial Service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2024 at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, with Reverend Randy Williamson officiating. Full military honors, provided by VFW 2112 and American Legion Post 100, both of Sparta, and a luncheon will follow after the service at the funeral home.

   A visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to St. Jude’s or The Disabled Veterans of America. Online condolences may be offered at

   Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation