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Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens (1915 - 2001)

A photo of Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens
Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens
1915 - 2001
Born
April 27, 1915
Macon, Bibb County, Georgia United States
Death
June 27, 2001
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois United States
Other Names
Minnie Ruth Owens (Solomon)
Summary
Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens was born on April 27, 1915 in Macon, Georgia United States. Her maiden name is Solomon and she married into the Owens family. According to her family tree, she married Jesse Owens. They were married until Jesse's death in 1980. She died on June 27, 2001 in Chicago, Illinois United States at 86 years old.
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Updated: March 18, 2020
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Introduction
Minnie Ruth Solomon Owens BIRTH 27 Apr 1915 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, USA DEATH 27 Jun 2001 (aged 86) Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA BURIAL Oak Woods Cemetery Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA PLOT Calm Vista MEMORIAL ID 22756404 · View Source MEMORIAL PHOTOS 7 FLOWERS 25 Ruth S. Owens, 86 Widow of Olympian Chaired foundation When Jesse Owens jumped and ran his way to four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics, putting the lie to Hitler's claims of Aryan racial superiority, his wife was at home with their first child. Although the expense of the trip was too great for them both to attend the Berlin Games, Ruth S. Owens was beside her track-star husband every step of the way before and after, preserving and spreading his legacy for generations. Mrs. Owens, 86, the longtime board chairwoman of the Jesse Owens Foundation, died of heart failure Wednesday, June 27, in her Hyde Park home. Mrs. Owens first met her husband, who already was a budding track star, in junior high school. He said "hello," she pretended she didn't hear him, and soon they were sharing doughnuts, said daughter Marlene Owens Rankin. They were married for nearly 48 years until his 1980 death. "She saw them as partners," her daughter said. They raised three daughters and were involved in numerous charitable organizations, with a special fondness for those geared toward children. Her husband was an Up With People board member and helped start the ARCO/Jesse Owens Games, a summer track and field competition for children across the country that culminated with scholarships for the winners. When he died, Mrs. Owens took his Up With People board seat and continued serving as an ARCO ambassador, making appearances and greeting the children at the games, her daughter said. Nearly 11 million children, including Carl Lewis, had participated by the event's end a few years ago. "She protected [Jesse Owens'] legacy and guarded it with all of her being," her daughter said. "She was chairman of the Jesse Owens Foundation, which existed to perpetuate his legacy. It was sort of the embodiment of him and how he spent his life. She was at the center of it." Mrs. Owens was board chairwoman and an active fundraiser for the foundation formed 21 years ago to give scholarships and a chance to average students who were active in the community. More than 270 children have since earned the four-year, $2,000 annual scholarships, and 97 percent graduated from college, said her daughter, the current executive director. The foundation added mentoring and donations to youth-oriented organizations to its activities. Mrs. Owens was a strong, independent woman, said son-in-law Stuart Rankin. "She went by Ruth Owens. She didn't go by Mrs. Jesse Owens, although she was very proud of all that," he said. Mrs. Owens loved playing bridge, viewing sports and watching the Olympics. "She used to watch Michael Jordan religiously," her son-in-law said. Mrs. Owens is also survived by two other daughters, Gloria Hemphill and Beverly Prather; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Visitation will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday at Griffin Funeral Home, 3232 S. King Drive, and at 10 a.m. Tuesday at First Unitarian Church of Hyde Park, followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service. 29 Jun 2001, Chicago Tribune News. Chicago, Cook, Illinois Family Members Parents John W. Solomon 1884–1935 Ellen Pugh Solomon 1887–1974 Spouse of Jesse Owens 1913–1980 (m. 1935) Inscription Devoted Wife - Beloved Mother Flowers • 25 Left by Kay on 15 Sep 2019
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Biography
Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens
Most commonly known as
Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens
Full name
Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens
Other names or aliases
Unknown. Did Minnie move a lot? Where was her last known location?
Last known residence
Female
Gender
Minnie Owens was born on in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia United States
Birth
Minnie Owens died on in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois United States
Death
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Oak Woods Cemetery 1035 E 67th St, in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois United States 60637
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Ruth S. Owens, the widow of the Olympian Jesse Owens and the longtime chairwoman of the foundation honoring his legacy, died Wednesday. She was 86.

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Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens
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Jesse Owens

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Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens

Married: Unknown - 1980
Cause of Separation: Jesse's Death
Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens
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Ruth Owens, 86, Widow of Jesse Owens By The Associated Press June 30, 2001 Ruth S. Owens, the widow of the Olympian Jesse Owens and the longtime chairwoman of the foundation honoring his legacy, died Wednesday. She was 86. She died of heart failure at her home in the Hyde Park neighborhood. She and Jesse Owens, who died in 1980, were married for nearly 48 years. Jesse Owens jumped and ran his way to four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, defeating Adolf Hitler's claims of Aryan racial superiority. Because the trip to the Games was too expensive, Ruth Owens stayed at home with their first child. ''She protected his legacy and guarded it with all of her being,'' Marlene Owens Rankin said of her mother. ''It was sort of the embodiment of him and how he spent his life. She was at the center of it.'' Ruth Owens was chairwoman and an active fund-raiser for the foundation formed 21 years ago to give scholarships to average students active in the community. She was also an ambassador of the Jesse Owens Games, a summer track and field competition that granted scholarships to children across the country. She is survived by three daughters, Marlene Owens Rankin, Gloria Hemphill and Beverly Prather; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
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1915 - 2001 World Events

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In 1915, in the year that Minnie Ruth (Solomon) Owens was born, in May, the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German torpedo. The Lusitania was a British passenger ship that was sailing from New York to Liverpool England. She sank in 18 minutes - 1,198 died and 761 survived. While travelers were the main casualty - and commodity - the Lusitania did carry wartime weapons. "Remember the Lusitania" became the rallying cry of World War 1.

In 1927, at the age of only 12 years old, Minnie was alive when 10 years after the United States bought the U.S. Virgin Islands from the Danish government, the inhabitants were granted U.S. citizenship. While they can vote in congressional elections and presidential primaries, they cannot vote for President.

In 1945, at the age of 30 years old, Minnie was alive when on August 15th, Imperial Japan announced its surrender. On September 2nd, a formal agreement of surrender was signed. Japan and nine other states signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in Tokyo Bay, calling for the return of all Allied prisoners of war and subordinating the authority of the emperor and the Japanese government to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. VJ (Victory in Japan) Day was celebrated in the United States on August 14th and 15th. World War II was over.

In 1963, at the age of 48 years old, Minnie was alive when on November 22nd, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson became the 36th President of the United States when President John Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. Johnson was sworn in on the plane carrying Kennedy's body back to Washington D.C.

In 1981, when she was 66 years old, on August 1st, MTV debuted. It was the first music video TV channel. The first music video played was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" - the second was Pat Benatar's "You Better Run".

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