2009-01-05 / Obituaries

Ron Owenby

President and General Manager of Gaffney Broadcasting Inc. WAGI FM and WEAC AM

Ronald Dean Owenby, 68, of 127 Coventry Court, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009, at Upstate Carolina Medical Center.

Born in Marion, N.C., he was the husband of Sybil Jean Harris Owenby and son of the late Roy Davis Owenby and Stella Sowers Owenby. He was a 1959 graduate of Marion High School, where he was a quarterback on the football team, president of the Beta Club, varsity basketball guard, president of the Key Club, and voted Senior Superlative "Most Helpful."

Ron worked at WBRMRadio in Marion, N.C., from the summer of 1959 to 1965. He moved to Gaffney and joined the staff of WEAC Radio Gaffney Broadcasting Inc. as an announcer. He served as Program Director, Station Manager and as President and General Manager of Gaffney Broadcasting Inc. WAGI FM and WEAC AM. He made the play by play announcements for Limestone College basketball and baseball and the play by play announcements and sideline reports for Gaffney High football for over 20 years. He became a regular on "Carolina in the Morning" with the late Raymond Parker as host in 1975. He served as Region 3 Director of the S.C. Broadcasters Association and also served as State FM Representative for the S.C. Broadcasters Association.

He was on the Limestone College Associate Advisory Board and served the college in many capacities. He helped organize the Limestone basketball team, was the first Saints Club president, was the very first recipient of the Super Saint Award and received an honorary Alumni Award from Limestone.

Ron was also president of the Cherokee County Arts Council, a member of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Gaffney Rotary Club, and also served as director of the Miss Cherokee County pageants for several years, and was Master of Ceremonies and judged beauty pageants in North and South Carolina. He served as the chairman of the S.C. Society of Crippled Children and Adults in 1967 and also State Board of Directors of Easter Seals Campaign. He served as the regional director for the S.C. Jaycees, served as National Director and as the State President of the South Carolina Jaycees from 1970 from 1971 and represented the S.C. Jaycees at the J.C.I. World Congress in Dublin, Ireland, in 1971.

He received the Cherokee County Man of the Year award in 1967, served on the Red Cross Board, the Bi- Centennial Board, the Cherokee County Development Board, was chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Gaffney, and was on the Board for the Friends of Cowpens Battlefield. In 2007, he was given the Cherokee County President's Award for Outstanding Service to the Chamber and Community.

Ron was a professional musician, studied piano, played drums and the guitar and sang. He was a member of Park Hills Baptist Church.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Rhonda Owenby Hatchette and husband, Denny, of Spartanburg and Robin Owenby Dixon and husband, Tom, of Inman; three grandchildren, Hunter Davis Hatchette, Houston Harris Dixon and Madison Lynn Dixon; a brother, James Michael Owenby and wife, Sherri, of Marion, N.C.; a nephew, Christopher Joe Owenby of Marion, N.C.; a niece, Leslie Owenby McPeters of Wake Forest, N.C.; and a special cousin, Patricia Owenby Gillam and husband, Bill, of Columbia.

Services were held Sunday, Jan. 4, at 2 p.m. at Park Hills Baptist Church with the Rev. Larry Sanders, Dr. M. B. Morrow Jr., the Rev. Sidney Norton and Mr. Dennis Fowler officiating. Interment was in Frederick Memorial Gardens.

Visitation was held Saturday, Jan. 3, from 6-8 p.m. at Blakely Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to Park Hills Baptist Church Music Ministry, 1100 Leadmine Road, Gaffney, SC 29340; or Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 1886, Gaffney, SC 29342.

The family will be at the residence.

An online guest register is available at www.blakelyfuneralhome. com.

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