A memorial service for John Owen, longtime Seattle Post-Intelligencer sports editor/columnist and food essayist, will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Church, 8109 224th St. SW.
Owen chronicled with wit and insight Seattle’s sports growth from minor league to major league market in a Seattle newspaper career that began in the 1950s and lasted until his retirement in 1993. Hired by legendary Seattle columnist Royal Brougham, Owen wrote six columns a week and ran the sports department from 1968 to 1980.
Along the way he shared with readers a passion beyond journalism — cooking. For 35 years, he was the “Intermediate Eater,” a weekly column in which he provided more than 3,400 recipes served with a dollop of light-hearted banter nearly as tasty as his meals. His seven recipe books, many celebrating Puget Sound’s bounty, sold nearly 40,000 copies.
Owen, 85, died of heart failure Oct. 3.
My parents were PI subscribers. Not the Seattle Times. It is because of John Owen that, whenever I grab a print edition newspaper(which is still quite often I might add), I skip over the front section, skip the business section, skip the local section, skip the life section, and skip over all that other stuff and pull out the sports section over all that other stuff. It is always my first option. Difficult to explain. I get back to that other stuff later.
I open the sports page first, too. My own parents were Seattle Times subscribers, but I got steady exposure to John Owen at 14-15 when I had a P-I paper route for a year (don’t know which I hated worse, getting up at 4:30AM seven days a week to spend a pre-dawn hour outdoors no matter what the weather was doing or having to spend 3-4 evenings every month trying to collect from deadbeats so I could earn a dollar a day).
Two things came out of that experience: a still-extant aversion to jobs that require getting up at 4:30AM and an appreciation of a sports columnist who was to Seattle what Jim Murray was to LA. You don’t simply replace writers like John Owen…you can only wonder what they would’ve said about things that have happened since they’ve left us.
Well said, Radioguy. About John and 4:30 a.m.
Writers like John were a good reason newspapers used to have all the other sections you mentioned.
My grandfather spend 39 years working for the P-I. My first job (during the 80s) was as a paperboy for the P-I. I’m sad that it no longer exists, and sad to see another part of the family go. Peace to his memory.