Owensby passes away

The Kernersville News and the Kernersville community suffered a huge loss last Friday when Managing Editor/Publisher John Franklin Owensby passed away at the age of 77.
Owensby, a native of Gastonia, was the Managing Editor/Publisher of the Kernersville News from 1986 until his death. His passion for and dedication to the News was absolutely unmatched as was his love for the community and this town.
Owensby graduated from Guilford College in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and later earned his Masters of Education from UNC-Greensboro. He played football and ran cross country at Guilford College and his love of running continued for the remainder of his life. He completed numerous marathons and ultra-marathons, some of which were 100 miles long, in his younger days.
Prior to coming to the News, Owensby was a member of the Army National Guard and was a school teacher and coach in Fort Mill, S.C. At one point he was studying to be an optometrist but decided to choose a different career path.
He had numerous interesting stories about his time in the National Guard and about his time as a school teacher and coach. In fact, Owensby had stories about almost everything and, if you talked to him for a decent length of time, he would somehow find a way to relate whatever the topic was to a Civil War reference. The history of the Civil War was something he was incredibly interested in. If nothing else, Owensby was a talker and a consummate salesman, which are obviously crucial skills for a managing editor/publisher.
Owensby was very dedicated to the community and he served on the board of directors for several organizations including the Kernersville Medical Center Foundation, Main Street United Methodist Church and the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce. Owensby was Chamber Board President in 1990 and was instrumental in the funding for the executive director. He received the 1986 Chairmans Award; 1996 Key Volunteer Award and 2005 Arnold G. King Distinguished Service Award. Owensby was the co-founder of the Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund and the Kernersville Cares for Kids program.
Owensby’s greatest love was his late wife Connie Owensby, whom he was married to for 49 years. John and Connie had three children, Paul, Meredith and Jennifer, and there are now seven grandchildren. Owensby loved and was very dedicated to them all.
Owensby was one of a kind and he will sorely be missed. It is with a heavy heart we move forward as a newspaper, but as Owensby always noted even when things aren’t going well, “the show must go on.” We remain dedicated to bringing the news to the people in Kernersville, and we will do so in Owensby’s honor.
Editor’s note: See more about Owensby’s impact and contributions to the community on page 3.

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