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Thomas Michael Owens

January 1, 1937 September 29, 2019
Thomas Michael Owens
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Obituary for Thomas Michael Owens

Owens, Thomas Michael

Thomas Michael Owens, aged 82, dearly beloved and best friend of Mary Owens nee McWalter, his wife of 60 years, passed away September 29, 2019; joining his parents Thomas and Marguerite Owens in Eternal Life. Loving father of the late Mary Eileen, Thomas (Sue) Owens, Jr., Julie Owens (Chris) Burns, Michael (Maggie) Owens, Sharon Owens, and Katie Owens (Tim) Mulcahy. He was a close, loving grandfather and hero to 22 grandchildren – Tom, Matt, Reilly, Kevin and Bridie; Blaine, Mary Kate, Maggie and Ellie; Kailey, Michael, Molly and Katherine; Katelyn, Grace, Owen, Cullen and Mary; Anna, Colleen, Timmy and Lauren. Cherished brother in law to Shelia, George (Donna) and Jack and fond uncle. He will be greatly missed by a community of thousands whose lives are forever impacted by his vision.

Tom was an innovator – in business, philanthropy, faith, and family. He was the founder of XL/Datacomp, which provided products and services for the IBM midrange computer line after a career at IBM. Tom retired from his business in the early - ‘90s but his legacy was just beginning.

Tom was a firm believer in the biblical proverb “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Tom and Mary founded The Owens Foundation in 1985 to use their financial resources to aid those less fortunate. Through their strong Catholic faith and dedication to philanthropy, Tom and Mary were friends with Mother Teresa of Calcutta, often accompanying her on Missionary of Charity projects to help the impoverished. When Tom saw the same problems in his own backyard, he was compelled to call on his network and resources to help him combat poverty in Chicago.

In 1991, he founded The Cara Program that help people affected by poverty build the skills and self-confidence needed to get and maintain good jobs. Today, nearly 30 years later, Cara has evolved into a world-class job training and placement program, with more than 6,500 individuals placed into more than 10,000 jobs thanks to the expert guidance and stewardship of Tom.

Our hearts hang heavy today. We have lost not just a hero, but a husband, father, grandfather, and a friend. Tom lived his life in epic and profound service to others.
Tom was inducted into Leo High School’s Hall of Fame and received their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. He was a life Trustee for the Catholic Theological Union Board of Trustees and the co-chairman at The Emergency Fund (now All Chicago) for ten years. Among the many awards and honors he received included an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Dominican University; The Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations; The Distinguished Public Service Award from the Union League Club of Chicago; the Venerable Mary Potter Humanitarian Award at Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Crystal Heart Ball; the Distinguished Philanthropist Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals; one of the 20 Most Inspiring Chicagoans by Streetwise; the Founders Award by the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants; and the Sr. Connie Driscoll Philanthropist Award at the St. Martin De Porres House of Hope 35th Anniversary Celebration

Visitation Monday October 7th 3-8 p.m. at Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL.
Friends and family to gather for Mass of the Resurrection on Tuesday October 8th at 10:30 a.m. at Old St. Patrick’s Church.
Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, contributions to Cara Chicago at www.carachicago.org would be appreciated.
Arrangements entrusted to Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home.
www.sheehyfh.com 708-857-7878


Previous Events

Visitation

Monday

7

Oct

3:00 PM 10/7/2019 3:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 10/7/2019 8:00:00 PM
OLD ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH

700 W. ADAMS STREET
CHICAGO, IL

OLD ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH
700 W. ADAMS STREET CHICAGO IL
United States

Mass

Tuesday

8

Oct

10:30 AM 10/8/2019 10:30:00 AM
OLD ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH

700 W. ADAMS STREET
CHICAGO, IL

OLD ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH
700 W. ADAMS STREET CHICAGO IL
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

HOLY SEPULCHRE CEMETERY Final Resting Place

6001 W. 111TH STREET
Alsip, IL 60803

6001 W. 111TH STREET Alsip 60803 IL
United States
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