Susan Elizabeth Owens

Passed July 12, 2023


Obituary For Susan Elizabeth Owens

Susan surpassed the odds while battling a rare cancer. She truly lived until she died, as we all should.

Susan Elizabeth Bailey Owens (69) passed away on July 12, 2023. Sue was born to the late Dr. Richard and Virginia Bailey of Harrisburg, Penn., in April 1954. Susan loved to learn! She attended Gettysburg College for her undergraduate degree, Duke University for a Masters in Forestry, and later East Carolina University for a Masters in Education. Her career began as a timber cruiser for Weyerhaeuser in Plymouth, where she met her husband of 42 years, James Edward “Ebby” Owens. Eventually, she transitioned into an over 25-year career teaching chemistry and physics at Plymouth High School. Sue even stepped in and coached the high school’s soccer team in their time of need. She had the perfect career for herself as she truly loved teaching and people.

Sue lived a very active life, engaged in new activities regularly, and accumulated quite an array of experiences and passions. She loved walking, traveling, art, golf, nature, boating, sailing, water sports, snow skiing, bridge, beekeeping, yard games, doing new things, and especially her family. She didn’t just think about life; she lived it. Her travels took her all over the world including Mexico, Peru, Canada, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Alaska, Iceland, China, and Africa. Sue was also well known for her art, which was more than a hobby. She sold most of her creations and was juried into many craft fairs and art shows. She was even commissioned by others for works of art. You can view some of her art on her website https://susanowensstudio.com/

Not surprisingly, Sue never met a stranger and always had a smile. Uplifting and encouraging others gave her great joy. Sue loved her friends and family! Needless to say, she was the number-one supporter of her family, almost to a fault. Sue had a beautiful spirit, and, with her constant positive energy and unconditional love, she truly made the world a better place.

Having lived in her marital home for over 40 years, Sue had a second family; all her neighbors on Albemarle Beach Road and friends in the surrounding area. They brought joy to her life daily as she did to theirs for many decades. If we all could be so lucky to have this kind of connection with those around us, the world would be a better place.

Susan is survived by her husband, Ebby Owens; son, Reid Owens; daughter, Sarah Owens, and husband, Joseph Smolenski III; brother, John Bailey, and wife, Barb; sister, Jean Miller, and husband, Lyle; sister-in-law, Candis Owens; and many nieces and nephews including Kaitlyn Murk and husband, Chris; Lauren Bailey and husband, Mike; Rachel Miller; Tyler Bailey; Stella Bailey; Sam Bailey; Lisa Daughtry, and husband, Alan; Tripp Owens and wife, Johanna; and great nieces and nephews including: Bailey Blount, and husband, Thomas; Simon Owens; Sadie Owens; and Matt Daughtry.

Services will be held Saturday, July 22, at Plymouth United Methodist Church with a reception to greet family at 10:00am and the memorial service in the sanctuary at 11:00am. Interment will follow at Hillside Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations towards a scholarship in Sue’s memory at Pocosin Arts, 202 Main Street, Columbia, NC 27925. https://pocosinarts.org/support-us/donate/

Arrangements entrusted to Renaissance Funeral Home of Raleigh with assistance from Maitland Funeral Home of Plymouth.


22 Jul


10:00 AM

Plymouth UMC 109 E 3rd Street Plymouth, North Carolina 27962 Get Directions »
22 Jul

Memorial Service

11:00 AM

Plymouth UMC 109 E 3rd Street Plymouth, North Carolina 27962 Get Directions »
22 Jul

Urn Ceremony

12:00 PM

Hillside Memorial Gardens 806 NC-32 Plymouth, North Carolina 27962 Get Directions »
26 Aug

Memorial Service

11:00 AM

Mt. Gretna Tabernacle 3rd St. & Glossbrenner Ave. Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • September 24, 2023

    I wish we had visited more. I treasure each time with Sue, a positive, genuine and open true friend. From high school to art workshops at HACC to visits st Duke, cross country skiing in northern PA and boating on the sound. I talked to you a few months ago and we always picked up with the same loving laughs. Ebby, Sarah and Reid, and all family, you're in my heart. May God's comforting arm be around you.

  • July 19, 2023

    You were a wonderful sister and the best travel buddy anyone could have. I will miss you immensely. Anyplace I go in this world, I will carry you with me in my heart.

  • July 18, 2023

    I am so sorry to hear about Sue's passing. This breaks my heart because she was a fighter until the very end. She was very passionate about life and loved people. She was energetic and ready to be involved, whether by making plans or being part of the conversation and not only that, but interested in what you 'on the other end' were up to as well. She will be missed. Sarah, Joe and the Owens family I am keeping you in my prayers.

  • July 17, 2023

    Always remember Ms. Owens for her dedication to students like me. She loved teaching and was such an inspiration. -Tammy

  • July 17, 2023

  • July 17, 2023

    *The Journey of My Life* It was beautiful as long as it lasted, the journey of my life. I have no regrets whatsoever save the pain I'll leave behind. Those dear hearts who love and care ... and the strings pulling at the heart and soul ... The strong arms that held me up when my own strength let me down. At every turning of my life I came across good friends, friends who stood by me even when time raced by me. Farewell, farewell my friend. I smile and bid you goodbye. No, shed no tears for I need them not. All I need is your smile. If you feel sad do think of me for that's what I'll like. When you live in the hearts of those you love remember then, you never die. - Rabindranath Tagore

  • July 17, 2023

    With never-ending love from your family. We love you, Sue! You were awesome here on earth!


  • 7 TREES

    7 Trees were planted in memory of Susan Elizabeth Owens - July 22, 2023

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