Mary Jane Owens

Posted 3/3/22

Mary Jane Owens, 78, of Lindenwood passed peacefully Friday morning, March 4.

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Mary Jane Owens


LINDENWOOD — Mary Jane Owens, 78, of Lindenwood passed peacefully Friday morning, March 4. She was born July 17, 1943, in Chicago to Thomas and Mary O’Malley. The family moved to Rochelle in the winter of that same year. She graduated from Mt. St. Clare Academy and College. She attended Illinois State University, earning a BA degree in education and loved teaching primary grades. She met her true love, Barney Owens, at The Beacon in Rochelle and they married within the year. They created a beautiful life together, and “Barn” lovingly and faithfully took care of his “Jane Darlin” through her battle with scleroderma until the very end.

Mary Jane was a strong, independent woman of faith. She loved and longed for the beach and always marveled at God’s glorious sunsets. She never met a stranger, and within minutes could be chatting with anyone, making a connection and a friend for life. Once a friend, you soon discovered her Irish wit, and no topic was off the table.

Her proudest accomplishments were her three children. She rarely missed anything in which her children and grandchildren were involved, whether it be a sporting, musical, church or community program. She was tech savvy enough to stream an event she had to miss, and she loved texting to keep in touch with anyone who could keep up—the more emojis, the better! If she wasn’t texting, you could count on a card in the mail for any little thing, and it most likely had a $2 bill, or a few singles tucked inside for “a little treat.” 

She was one of the integral parts of holding the “O’Malley Clan” together and was the “constant” for so many people in her life, both young and old. She lived her Catholic faith by example, encouraged all and was proud of any progression a person was making. The best lesson she left us was to ALWAYS look for the blessings in ANY situation.

Mary Jane was preceded in death by many special relatives and friends. She is survived by her husband, Barney, and her children: Chip (Megan) Owens of Quincy, Kelly Keppen of Woodstock and Marguerite (André) Brass of Byron. She leaves behind eight grandchildren who adored her:  Delaney and Chloe Keppen of Woodstock, Nolan, Nick, Madeleine and Nate Brass of Byron, Marissa (Dan) Boebel of Leaf River and Mallory (Zac) Sanders of Virginia Beach, Virginia, along with two great granddaughters, Genevieve Boebel and Riley Sanders. She will be terribly missed by her three siblings, Pat (Jim) Hanley of Rochelle, Tom (René) O’Malley of Sherman Oaks, California, and Neil (the late Billie) O’Malley of Belvidere along with many nieces, nephews, and close friends. 

Visitation will be on Thursday, March 10, from 4-7 the Unger Horner Funeral Home, 400 N. 6th St., Rochelle. The funeral mass will be held the following morning at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 11 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle with Father Richard Rosinski and Father Jesus Dominguez officiating. Burial will follow at St. Patrick Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Scleroderma Foundation of Greater Chicago for Research or the Poor Clare Nuns of Rockford, both C/O Unger Horner Funeral Home, PO Box 87, Rochelle, IL 61068.  Guest book at