William (Bill) Cone Owen, of Tallahassee, passed away on Friday, March 23 after an extended battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.
Bill was born on January 21, 1942 in Tallahassee, Florida to Mr. and Mrs. George E. Owen. He graduated from Leon High School where he was a member of the golf and basketball teams. He then attended the University of Florida, 1960-1964, graduating with a major in accounting and a minor in finance. He was a member of SAE fraternity.
After graduating from Florida, Bill attended law school at the University of Nebraska. Graduating in1967, he served as a member of the law review, the national moot court team, and having attained the academic distinction of "Order of the Coif" typically awarded to the top 5 percent of the class.
In 1967 Bill returned to Tallahassee where he clerked for the Honorable Richard W. Ervin, Chief Justice of Florida Supreme Court. After his clerkship he entered the private practice of law in 1971.
In 1988 Bill was appointed to the Board of Directors of Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, the fourth largest fraternal benefit society in the United States. Bill served as Chairman of the Audit Committee, until he became the Chairman of the Board, the first independent director to attain this position in Woodmen's 120-year history. Bill retired from Woodmen in February 2012.
Bill loved the practice of law and energetically pursued the field. He was assisted in law practice by a very competent, dedicated and trustworthy assistant, Allison Carothers.
Bill's parents, George and Nick Owen, and his eldest son Robert (Bob) Davin Phillips predeceased him. He is survived by his loving wife Carolyn Gurley Owen, his son William Cone Owen Jr., Cone's wife Rebecca and their two sons: Harrison and Winston. Bob's wife Amy and their son Jack; stepson Jason David Gurley, Jason's wife Charlotte and their daughter Chyanne; stepdaughter Amanda Gurley Noullet and her husband Jim. His sister Judith Owen Wilde, and her three sons also survive him: Thomas, Adam and Nick. Other survivors include beloved extended family and friends.
Besides his work, Bill thoroughly enjoyed the game of golf and for over 45 years Bill and his first cousin Booker Moore, often joined by good friend Bill Manifold, would challenge competitors to friendly wagers over golfing skills at Capital City Country Club, followed by engagement in spirited conversation over "Gin Rummy".
In addition to his long standing membership at Capital City Country Club, Bill was a member of Tallahassee Exchange Club, the Tallahassee Bar, the Florida Bar Association, and Faith Presbyterian Church.
Bill's virtues, particularly his loyalty, honesty, decency and most importantly his love of family, commend him to our memory as a great man.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at Faith Presbyterian Church, Tallahassee, Florida. Following the service, friends are cordially invited to visit with the family in the church fellowship hall. Memorial contributions may be made to Richard W. Ervin Youth Camp, North Florida Youth Association, 3051 Highland Oaks Terrace, Suite 2, Tallahassee, Florida 32301.