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Robert Owen was born December 2nd, 1920 in Rochester, Minnesota. He was married in 1940 to his high school sweetheart, Helen and they have 3 children, 9 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Bob passed away February 3rd, 2009, at home in Hospice care at the age of 88.
Bob’s first calling was to the ministry. He earned his B.A. in Bible at Biola Bible College in L.A., was ordained and served in a small Santa Ana church. In 1949 he helped establish Practical Missionary Training, an organization that gave “on the field” training to young college students who were interested in becoming missionaries—a new concept at that time. Home base was Majagua, Camaguey, in the geographical center of Cuba. He served with the mission from 1949 to 1956.
While working with students he saw the need to better understand other cultures , so he enrolled at Long Beach State where he obtained his B.A. and M.A. in Sociology. Wanting to major in Anthropology, he went on to U.C.L.A. for his second M.A. During this time he was teaching 15 units at Biola.
After 8 years on the Biola faculty, he heard that Fullerton College was offering 2 Sociology classes, but no teacher was listed. So he applied and was hired for those classes. Thus began 34 years with Fullerton College, mostly teaching Physical and Cultural Anthropology.
Bob reluctantly retired in 1997, but stayed on as an adjunct faculty member until July 2001. With a lifetime parking pass, permission from the Dean of Social Science Department, and the teachers, he sat in on classes, starting with the six teachers who were his former students. Others invited him and he took great pleasure in each visit. Bob was completely devoted to teaching. He often declared that he loved his job so much that he couldn’t wait to get to class each day.