Dora Lee Owens, my 89-year-old Mother, went to Heaven peacefully on Sunday, June 13, 2021.
My Father, Ronald F. Owens Sr., held her hand throughout Saturday (June 12) night. I was sleeping nearby. At about 1:00 a.m. I heard my Mother call “Ronnie” in my sleep. I awoke. I immediately got up from my sofa bed outside their bedroom. I entered the room. I sat down in the chair next to her side of their bed. I held her right hand. I rubbed her arm the last hour and 15 minutes.
During that time —at about 1:55 a.m.— my Father asked me to play Alexander Scourby reading the Gospel of Mark on my old iPad. She loved many scriptures. She was a lifelong student of the Bible. But she particularly loved reading the Gospel of Mark and how Mark used the word “immediately” to describe how Jesus healed people. “Immediately” the fever left Simon Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:31). “Immediately” the leprosy departed from him and he was cleansed (Mark 1:42). “Immediately” the paralyzed man arose (Mark 2:12).
Mother died between 2:00 and 2:15 on that early Sunday morning.
As I reflect my she died at her house; In her bedroom; On her bed; Next to the man she married on August 7, 1954; And next to the man she birthed on May 15, 1957. Do you know what? At the point my she went to Heaven she was “immediately” healed! Praise the LORD!
Mother accepted Jesus Christ as her LORD and Savior in 1968. She loved the LORD. She always sought to be guided by the Holy Spirit and share the Word of God. Throughout her Christian walk she attended Bible studies, conferences and prayer meetings. She sung in choirs and worship teams. She sang solos. She ministered to young men at Sacramento County Juvenile Hall for nearly 10 years. She ministered to incarcerated people at the state prisons in Tehachapi and Vacaville. She shared the love of Jesus to people wherever she went. Many times she saw people in need. She would give them cash. She exhorted and prayed for them. She encouraged them to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Dora Lee Elizabeth Holmes was born on July 22, 1931 in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Belmont High School in 1950 and enrolled at Los Angeles Junior College. She served in the United States Air Force (USAF) “three years, seven months and 15 days” she proudly reminded us, noting the USAF removed her “Elizabeth” name because they said it was too long. She married my Father on August 7, 1954. She took classes at Sacramento City College, Anthony’s Real Estate School, and Capitol Bible Institute. As the wife of a U.S. Air Force musician she lived in California, Japan, Nebraska, Washington D.C., Germany —traveling through Western Europe at that time— Florida and Louisiana. She went to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel twice, the first time in 1996 and the second time in 2000. She went to western Canada and many places throughout the United States.
While she worked in retail, briefly sold funeral plans and worked at a Bible bookstore, her primary job was to be a wife and a mother. “I pushed and I pressed and made you all [her four children] go to Bible studies,” Mother said a couple days before she passed. “It was worth it, it was worth it. Look at you all now.”
She battled multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells, for about 10 long years. She never lost her faith. As a matter of fact the longer and harder she fought the more her faith increased.
We, her family, are consoled at knowing she’s not in pain. She ran her race. She finished her race. She crossed the finished line. She’s in Heaven now praising and worshipping “my Jesus,” as she would affectionately say.
On the preceding Friday before she passed she told my three siblings and me —and the rest of her family—to stay in the Word and pray. She’d want me to encourage you all today to do the same: Stay in the Word and pray.
These are the best of times (my Mother is in Heaven). These are the worse of times (my Mother is no longer with my Father and us). Quite naturally we focus on loss. But let us fixate on what she’s gained —and that is eternal life in a glorified body and praising and worshipping Jesus! Hallelujah! She’s in Heaven because she confessed her sins, asked Jesus to forgive her sins, accepted Jesus as her Savior, and lived for Christ. She would want everyone to do the same so we will all be reunited in Heaven!
In addition to her husband and me she is survived by a sister, two daughters, another son, two sons-in-laws, one daughter-in-law, four grandchildren, two grandchildren-in-laws, five great grandchildren, plus other relatives and countless cousins.
She is interred at Mount Vernon Memorial Park, which is located at Fair Oaks, California.
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints,” Psalm 116:15 comfortably reminds us. My Mother, Dora Lee Owens, was one of the LORD’s saints.