James R. Owen, Mayor of Redfield Parkway, passed away Thursday, Jan. 19, while surrounded by friends and family at Crossroads house in Batavia. James was born July 9, 1943 and is the son of Frank E. Owen & Natalie Walker Owen and brother of Kathy & Robert Owen. James graduated from Batavia High in 1961 where he played three sports, cross country, basketball and golf. He was also on the picture staff of the Batavia High School paper.
James graduated from SUNY Morrisville (as he would always refer MIT) followed by RIT and the University of Buffalo. His degrees included Business and Education Majors. James started teaching in 1966 in Sackets Harbor N.Y. where he coached varsity basketball. After two years, James was able to take a position in Hamburg High School where he taught for 34 years. James coached cross country, track and JV basketball.
James was a proud member of Stafford Country Club for 60 years. He was once president of the Horseshoe Lake Association and Retired Teachers Association of Genesee County and served on the Board of Directors for The Holland Land Office and Genesee County Mental Health. James was also a proud supporter of Batavia’s GO ART. James was also a proud member of the Stafford Historical Society, Godfrey’s Pond and was the former town of Stafford historian.
James would like to thank Bert Earl and Michael Marsh for all they’ve done for him and their efforts to help him stay in his home for as long as possible. He would like to thank his friends for all their support and encouragement in his life. James also would like to thank Batavia School District’s staff and students for making his life much brighter! Success of life is having knowledge and the Batavia School system is doing a great job on educating the students K-12.
James also would like to thank Patti Pacino for helping to get the BHS Auditorium named in honor of his father Frank E. Owen. He would also like to thank Elaine Watson, Carol Redband for help with the feeding tube, Crossroads House staff, Johnny’s Angels staff, residents of Redfield Parkway “you folks are doing a great job”, Batavia City Council and President Eugene Jankowski for naming him Official Mayor of Redfield Parkway, and all the Batavia students and classes that made get well cards. James would also like to thank Sam for his many hours of help with his Facebook news and articles. He would also like to thank Video News Service and Alecia, The Batavian, Howard Owens and JoJo Beck, The Daily News and Brian Quinn for all reporting positive news for Batavia. Thank you as well to Phil Pies and Fran Spiotta for their encouragement and Sandy and Joe Kauffman for their daily phone calls “they kept me going” and thank you to everyone who sent cards and encouragement for their support. Thank you, Pastor Vern Saile, for your visits and friendship.
Special thanks to the Board of Education, Superintendent Jason Smith and Britt Witkop for their calls, visits and support.
James had many students that were very encouraging for him, including the governor of New York state Kathy Hochul. James wants all people to know they’re very important in his eyes and he tried his best to encourage people and students around him.
“When you dream, dream BIG and go for it.”
In lieu of flowers please make donations to any of the following, GO ART, Northgate Free Methodist Church, Genesee County Mental Health, or the Batavia Peace Garden.
There are no prior visiting hours. James’ service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Northgate Free Methodist Church, 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia. He will be laid to rest privately in Machpelah Cemetery, LeRoy. To leave a condolence, share a story or light a candle in his memory, please visit www.bataviafuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of the H.E. Turner & Co. Inc. Funeral Home, 403 East Main Street, Batavia.