Cover photo for Joan Akers Owens's Obituary
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Joan Akers Owens

August 6, 1929 — January 25, 2023

Joan Akers Owens

Joan Akers Owens, 93, of South Boston passed away peacefully on January 25, 2023. During her long and full life, she was a daily source of love, smiles, hugs, and laughter. Daughter of the late Harry Dale and Hazel Webb Akers, Joan was born in Mercer County, West Virginia, on August 6, 1929. Her paternal grandparents owned a mercantile in Princeton, West Virginia, which helped the family survive the aftermath of the 1929 Depression. When she was 5, her father, a police officer and fingerprint expert, was killed in the line of duty. At the age of 8, Joan relocated to South Boston when mother married her late stepfather, Leroy “Buck” Spangler, an overseer employed by Carter Fabrics/JP Stevens. A standout athlete and captain of her basketball team, Joan graduated from C.H. Friend High School and attended business school in Tennessee. In 1948 Joan married Robert E. “Bob” Owens, a marriage that lasted almost 40 years until his death in 1987. Joan cherished being a wife, mother and grandmother…especially supporting the family’s athletic endeavors, from all the ball sports to ballet recitals. Joan or “Gram” (as she was called by many) could be found at various sporting venues where Bob, son Frosty, her grandsons and granddaughter and their friends competed. Other than the Halifax Comets, her favorite team was Duke’s Blue Devil basketball team. In addition to being a daily walker, world traveler, frequent concert/theater goer, crossword puzzler, bowling instructor, and bridge player, Joan was a voracious reader, especially the Bible. She enjoyed her ecumenical study group and found enormous strength, comfort and peace in God’s word, her faith, her family, and her friends. Service to others was fundamentally important to her. Retiring in 1994 after 25 years of service, Joan supported the community as Executive Director of the Halifax County Red Cross. She especially enjoyed helping military families during times of loss, those impacted by disasters, those in need of emergency blood, and providing medical emergency classes such as lifesaving first aid, water safety and CPR. As a member of the South Boston First Presbyterian Church for 75 years, she served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher and nursey attendant. For more than five decades, she volunteered in various capacities at the former Halifax County Regional Hospital and was an active member of the Hospital Auxiliary, South Boston Tuesday Woman's Club and Good Samaritan Ministry volunteers. Using God’s gifts throughout her life, she was an integral part of every gathering; eager to listen, comfort, support and encourage. Stricken with osteoarthritis later in life, Joan lived at South Boston Health and Rehab Center (formerly Woodview) where she received excellent care and restorative rehabilitation. During the COVID lockdowns, Joan enjoyed the daily window visits from her family as well as from the array of beloved birds and squirrels that frequented her feeders. Her daughter-in-law Joni provided and periodically updated an electronic photo viewer. These pictures prompted laughter and the sharing of precious memories and stories of the family. She also treasured cards, calls, and visits from good friends; Dwight, Brenda, Nettie, Nancy and Tommy. A cancer and COVID survivor, she exhibited an all-around zest for life with an infectious smile, gentle humor, and profound sense of curiosity. A humble servant Joan was always grateful, optimistic, and enthusiastic about each day and the opportunities the Lord presented. Surviving to cherish a lifetime of wonderful memories are: Her Children Robert “Frosty” Dales Owens (Joni) of Halifax Robin Owens Hall (Jay) of South Boston Grandchildren Caitlin Owens Thompson (Charles) of Greensboro, NC Robert “Bobby” Alan Owens of Halifax Michael “Mike” Joseph Owens (Melissa) of Wake Forest, NC Great-grandsons Cole and Eli Honorary son: Alan Parham, formerly of Nathalie (Dottie) of Mill River, NC Granddog Taz Predeceased by (In addition to those mentioned previously): Brother The Very Reverend Nolan Gale Akers Thanksgiving: Sincere thanks to the Hummingbird Lane caregivers and nursing staff who helped Joan safely navigate and enjoy the last years of her earthly life. The family wishes to acknowledge the overwhelming kindness, compassion, and respect she received while residing there. The family also extends much gratitude to all her friends for loving Joan as she loved you. Private Celebration of Life: At her request, a private service will be officiated by Rev. Dr. Russell Lee and Rev. Glenn Coleman. Interment will be at Halifax Memorial Gardens, Joan’s resting place beside Bob, just beneath the statue of Jesus, the Shepherd. Remembrances, please consider: First Presbyterian Church, 800 North Main Street, South Boston, VA 24592 Halifax County Hospice, 2204 Wilborn Ave., South Boston, VA 24592 Online condolences may be directed to www.powellfuneralinc.com Arrangements entrusted to Powell Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 1603 Wilborn Ave., South Boston, VA 24592 https://www.tributeslides.com/tributes/show/ZRYQS9DBYHLKMDCW
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