Donald Robert “D.R.” Owen II, MD

"D.R."Donald Robert
Owen II, MD

October 24, 1943 – February 26, 2019

Devoted husband, father, grandfather, and physician, died peacefully on Tuesday morning, February 26, 2019. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth Owen Tyler and Frank Stiles Owen; wife, Jane Margaret Owen; and grandchildren, Clare Owen, Lily Owen, and Henry Nihsen. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Jean “Jeanie” Owen; son, Donald Robert “Rob” Owen (Erin); daughter, Laurie Sue Owen; and son, Dustin Edward Nihsen (Sarah); sister, Lynne Owen, all of Omaha; sister, Judith Chamberlain, Falls Church, Virginia; grandchildren: Bailey, Taylor, William and Azlynn Nihsen, and Ava Owen; father-in-law, William Boettger from Shelby, Iowa, and the beloved family cat, Mr. McBurney.

D.R. was a physician for over 40 years. He dedicated his life to caring for his patients, mentoring medical students, and laughing and fishing with family and friends. D.R. woke up every day and found joy. He never (literally) met someone he didn’t like. His family will miss so many things, including his signature start to most conversations: “Here’s the deal.”

A mighty proud Benson High School Bunny, where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010, and a graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1971. D.R. received the OneWorld “Milagro Award” in 2009 for service to vulnerable children and families. “Surgeon, teacher, friend” is how a gift to D.R. read from a group of medical students, a perfect summary of his life.

A Celebration of D.R.’s life will be held, Saturday, March 9th, 2019, 10:30 am, at West Center Chapel.

Memorials can be sent to the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation – Alzheimer’s Fund or the Methodist Hospital Foundation.



  • Dorothy Jones Posted February 27, 2019 8:25 pm

    Jeanne , so saddened for you and your family in hearing of DR’s passing . I will never forget how kind and funny he was all at the same time as he. coached me as a new manager and consoled and encouraged me when the time came for me to move away to pursue my next “ dream”. “Your job is to move on “ was a piece of advice he shared when I was anxious about my decision – I never forgot it . I smoked my first cigar at your house ! Unlit … John and I offer you our love and prayer . Be blessed – memories are good medicine , Love, Dorothy Jones ????????

  • Ann Martin White Posted February 27, 2019 10:00 pm

    Dear Jeanie, You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. DR was always my favorite surgeon to assist. One of my favorite memories was a conversation during a procedure. I asked him to please let me if I was ever handing him the wrong instrument. His response – you could hand me the kitchen sink and I would use it. God Bless, Annie White

  • Happy & Iris Kewin Posted February 28, 2019 8:15 am

    So sorry to learn of D. R. ‘s passing. He will be missed.

  • Jon Schuetz Posted March 1, 2019 9:26 am

    Dr Owen was my surgeon during a rough time in my life. He was always so kind and reassuring. Great doctor!

  • Dorothy Barrett Posted March 1, 2019 2:29 pm

    So sorry to hear of Dr. Owens passing… of the greatest surgeons I have had the opportunity to work with, I have learned a lot from him !!!! RIP Doc !!!

  • James Adwers MD Posted March 8, 2019 2:05 pm

    Just heard about DR’s death here in Virginia. I knew him at Benson High as well as our time together at Methodist Hospital and so sorry to hear he died. He was one of a kind and he will be missed.

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