Donald Robert “D.R.” Owen II, M.D.

Donald Robert “D.R.” Owen II, MD

October 24, 1943 – February 26, 2019

Devoted husband, father, grandfather, and physician, Dr. Owen 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 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 of Falls Church, VA; grandchildren: Bailey, Taylor, William and Azlynn Nihsen, and Ava Owen; father-in-law, William Boettger of Shelby, Iowa; and the beloved family cat, Mr. McBurney.

D.R. was a physician for more than forty 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, he was inducted into Benson High’s Hall of Fame in 2010.  He graduated from 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 on Saturday, March 9th at 10:30am at the West Center Chapel.  Memorials can be sent to the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation-Alzheimer’s Fund or the Methodist Hospital Foundation.


  • Lynne Carroll Posted March 2, 2019 9:54 pm

    Jean and family, I send my sympathy to you and your loved ones. I pray for the loving arms of God to enfold you. Peace and love, Lynne Kaufman Carroll

  • Linda Andersen Posted March 2, 2019 10:36 pm

    Dear Jeanie and Family,
    What a wonderful picture of DR – you can see his strength and kindness and love of what he does.
    I knew he was a great guy the minute I met him. I know you are all going to miss him like crazy – so thankfully you have so many terrific memories to hold on to. Sending you all much love and sympathy.

  • Dr. Jordan R. Mertes Posted March 3, 2019 3:21 am

    Sending my deepest sympathies to the Owen family. I only wish I could be in the USA to say it in person. DR was an amazing person whom I’ve always been so glad to have gotten to know while growing up in Omaha. I was fortunate enough to spend many evenings with Dr and Jeanie, conversing over dinner at friends or at holiday get togethers. Granted I was in high school or college, but no matter, he treated me like an adult and we’d have a great time. He was always supportive of us kids’ future plans, always ready to give good advice and positive encouragement. I remember him as a constantly cheerful person, always had a smile on his face and I always admired the way he and Jeanie were as a couple in love. I am very sad to hear of his passing, but at the same time so glad that I had the chance to know him.

  • Steve and Cynthia Pike Posted March 3, 2019 6:59 am

    We are so sorry for your loss, Jeanie. Sending prayers for peace and comfort during this difficult time.

  • Bette Zolk Graybill Posted March 3, 2019 8:15 am

    Jeanie, I’m so sorry to read about you husbands passing. Sounds like he was a great man and had a wonderful life. You have my sincere sympathies. Blessings and peace to you and your family.

  • Betty Luebbert Posted March 3, 2019 8:39 am

    Jeanie and family I am so sorry for your lose. What a wonderful man. I am so proud to have known him . He was a very kind soul and patient man. He truly loved you all.

  • Carol Otis Stolp Posted March 3, 2019 9:29 am

    Thinking of you all during this difficult time and looking forward to celebrating your dad’s life with you on Saturday. God Bless.

  • Martha Trautman Posted March 3, 2019 10:27 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. He will be greatly missed.

  • James and Polo Davis Posted March 3, 2019 11:33 am

    .Our thoughts and prayers are with you Jeanie and your entire family.

  • Mark Graybill Posted March 3, 2019 11:45 am

    Jeanie and family,

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I did not know D.R. well, but in the few interactions I did have left me with the impression that I he was a mench.

    Thoughts are with you and your family in this difficult time. May the memories of all the good things he brought to your lives provide comfort.


  • James T. Rador Posted March 3, 2019 12:15 pm

    Rest in peace classmate.

  • Kate O’Connor Posted March 3, 2019 12:59 pm

    My condolences Jeannie…so sorry for your loss

  • Laurel Weddle Posted March 3, 2019 3:02 pm

    I’m so very, very sorry, Jeanie. My prayers are with you.

  • Joanne (Lamp) Elliott Glass Posted March 3, 2019 4:46 pm

    As the younger sister of Russ Lamp, I remember DR so very fondly. He was a great friend to my brother but always had time to greet and/or tease his little sister. He was one of the best! Life’s memories are so very important as we face losses. My condolences to DR’s family.

  • Michael J Villone Posted March 4, 2019 12:19 am

    Was very shocked to have heard of the death of a great friend and neighbor. I lived across the street from the Owen family for many years on 48th & Spaulding. DR’s mother used to drive me to school at Creighton Prep in the 60’s. I used to help him deliver world Herald newspapers on his route when we were just kids. Happened to see him in 1998 at the Methodist Hospital where I was being treated for a kidney problem. He stopped in to see me and talk about old times. He was a great guy and his parents and siblings were great neighbors. I will miss him and his great personality and humor. My deepest condolences go out to his entire family. He was like an older brother to me. Wish I could have spent more time together, but his dedication to his medical practice and his family were his number one concerns. He will be greatly missed. Mike Villone and Family.

  • Ginni Thomas Posted March 4, 2019 5:56 am

    What a wonderful man we have lost! Our deepest condolences to all the beloved family and friends who were fortunate enough to know this man! He was one of my oldest brother’s best friends, and now they are both gone from such a hard disease: Alzheimer’s. May we beat this disease taking way too many of the best of us. May God comfort and fortify his great wife and children and other family members. Love to all of you who knew D.R.!

  • Julie Posted March 4, 2019 8:06 am

    He was a wonderful, skilled surgeon. I was referred to him because my dermatologist considered that he did “plastic quality” work. He did! He was funny, kind, caring. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Kathy M Cooney Posted March 4, 2019 4:32 pm

    My heart goes out to all of you, expecially my great niece Laurie who has always been their for your Dad.
    Always love

  • Sue Danielson Posted March 4, 2019 6:23 pm

    Our family had the privilege of Dr. “D.R. Taking care of my very sick father in 1983. As he put it, he performed a “Star Wars” operation and put my father back together, His illness required months of staying in touch and the ensuing years other members of the family required his surgical talent, Truly a remarkable man whom we held in the highest regard. RIP Dr. Owen:

  • Kathleen Arnett Posted March 5, 2019 10:31 am

    I had the honor and privilege of working for Dr Owen in his office, I will always remember his kindness and that he loved to teach. He would make the most nervous patient feel at ease with his gift of gab. He truly made the world a better place.

  • Arlys Rearick Posted March 5, 2019 4:53 pm

    I was so very sorry to hear of your loss. It was always a good time working in the OR with DR Owen. He was always kind and an excellent teacher. God bless you and send you comfort and peace.

  • Joy Kroll (mrs.Fred) Posted March 7, 2019 2:00 am

    I am so sorry to hear of D.R’s passing. He was such a wonderful gift !!! He was a groomsman in my wedding 32 years ago, godfather to my son Alexander and a pallbearer for my late husband Fred. He was patient, kind and understanding. A very dear and loyal friend of my late husband he will be forever missed and remembered.

  • Julie Bott Posted March 7, 2019 7:19 pm

    I am truly sorry for your loss but extremely grateful that I was able to work with D.R. Brilliant man, amazing teacher, and a joy to be around. My sympathy to all the lives he touched.

  • Linda Brewer Posted March 8, 2019 8:56 am

    Prayers to you Laurie, and your family, as you go through this difficult time. Trust in the Lord!

  • Susan Johnson Posted March 8, 2019 10:31 pm

    Jeanie, Dr. Owen was a delight to be around. Always coming into the OR to see what was happening. His signature phrase, ” How are we doing?!” Always made me smile when I was scrubbed in. I’ll miss his infectious laugh! ????

  • Michael Kahler Posted March 21, 2019 1:51 pm

    Jeannie, we just heard about DR. Our condolences and prayers for you, Dustin and family. Michael and Janet

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