In Memoriam: John Owen

John Owen passed away on January 30th this year, marking the end of a career and a life that touched countless people, inspired many a planner, affected many places, and made Washington a better place. We give our deepest condolences to his wife, Joan, his daughters, Mary, and Jennifer, and their families during this time, and it's with a heavy heart that we say goodbye John, rest easy.
One of the original partners of MAKERS Architecture & Urban Design, John had a passion for planning and design and found beauty in neighborhoods, landscapes, buildings, and wherever there was life. The breadth of John's experience was impressive: writing planning guidebooks, sketching, working at the state level on policy and regulations regional planning, working at the University of Washington with students and the professional's council, pioneering design guidelines, waterfront revitalization, transportation corridor revitalization, all with a focus on community participation.
John was an active member of the chapter and contributor to the profession, with an impressive resume that included service on the chapter's Community Planning Assistance Team in the 1980s, member of the Awards Committee in the 1990s, Legislative Committee in the 2010s, Ten Big Ideas Task Force in 2015, Updating Washington's Growth Policy Framework Task Force in 2019, and more.
The chapter formally recognized John's work and legacy with two awards, coincidentally both given in Tacoma: in 2015, at the 25th Anniversary of the Growth Management event, John was awarded the Myer Wolfe Award for professional achievement; in 2019, at the chapter conference, John's legacy was recognized with the Eric Shields Leadership Award.
John was a proud supporter of the UDP Endowed Equity Scholarship, benefitting graduate students at the University of Washington who have deep experience with diversity. If you would like to make a donation in his memory, please do so here.


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