Etta Kniess Owen

Written by Theresa Rose on April 29, 2019

Etta Kniess Owen, of Mt. Pleasant, IA, passed away Friday, April 26, 2019 at Arbor Court.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3, 2019, at Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel with Elder Greg Fields, officiating. Burial will be in the Oakland Mills Cemetery. On-line condolences may be directed to<>. Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel is in charge of the funeral arrangements.

Born March 17, 1922, north of Danville, IA, Etta was the daughter of Noah and Dorothy (Kniess) Landrum. She attended elementary school at a one-room schoolhouse near her home. She graduated from New London High School where she was active in cheerleading and band. After graduation, she attended Burlington Junior College.

On December 20, 1942, she married Ralph William (Billy) Owen in Missouri. As a result of her relationship with Billy, she began studying the Bible and was later baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, remaining faithful to her death.

After Junior College, Etta began her teaching career in various schools including, a one room school north of Danville, the school in Wever and a one room school west of Salem. She later resumed her studies at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, where she graduated with a BA in speech and drama. A few years later, she earned her master’s degree in speech and drama from the University of Iowa. During and after this time she taught high school in Keosauqua for thirteen years and fourteen years in Burlington until retirement.

After retirement, she remained active in teaching and drama, acting and directing in local and regional theater productions, as well as conducting ESL classes for recent immigrants and refugees. She belonged to Delta Kappa Gamma.  Etta travelled extensively, accompanied by her husband and son, throughout the United States and Canada.

Along with her loving husband, Billy, of 76 years, Etta is survived by a son, Tom Owen of Casper, WY; a grandson, Seth Owen; a great-grandson, Jade Beardsley; and a great-great-granddaughter, Isabelle Dominguez all of Iowa City, IA.

Preceding Etta in death were her parents, three sisters and four brothers.