NEW HARMONY, INDIANA JULY 25, 2010 – A Memorial Service celebrating the life of Jane Blaffer Owen CBE, was held on Sunday evening, July 25, 2010, at the Roofless Church in New Harmony, Indiana. The Right Rev. Catherine Maples Waynick, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, officiated at the service, and the Reverend Dr. J. Philip Newell, internationally renowned Scottish theologian and friend of Mrs. Owen, offered the homily. Musical selections were performed by Members of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. Nearly 400 people attended.
The widow of Kenneth Dale Owen, Jane Owen passed away at her home in Houston on June 21, 2010. For nearly sixty years, her creative thought touched, and her arms embraced, the people and places in her adopted home town of New Harmony. Her influence transformed the community and helped protect the Rappite and Owen legacy. In 1958, she established the Robert Lee Blaffer Foundation, in honor of her father, to preserve and promote the town’s historical and educational attributes. Her passionate interest and vision for New Harmony led to it becoming a national and international destination point.
Among numerous other achievements and recognition, Jane Owen was awarded the prestigious Louise DuPont Crown in Shield Award, the nation’s highest accolade presented by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and was one of two persons in Texas to have received Commander of The British Empire, bestowed by her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. She received the Sachem Award from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to recognize a lifetime of excellence and virtue that brought credit and honor to Indiana.
Appropriately, her life was remembered and celebrated in the Roofless Church, a structure that she envisioned and commissioned more than fifty years ago. Following the Memorial Service, a reception was held at the New Harmony Inn and Conference Center.