Susan Moss Owen was born in Mt. Juliet on April 5, 1952. The second child of Charles Beasley Moss and Ilene Hale Moss, Susan spent her entire life as a proud resident of the state of Tennessee. As a senior in high school she was invited to a fraternity event at the University of Tennessee to be a date for one of her brother’s friends in Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. She never could have guessed that she was about to go on her first date with her future husband, John David “D” Owen. Susan and D stayed in contact after the fraternity party, and they began dating once Susan enrolled at the University of Tennessee.
As David was preparing to graduate and enroll in medical school in Memphis, Susan decided to defy common norms. Over pizza while discussing what they would do once D went to medical school Susan proposed, “Why don’t we just get married?” And they did just that on Dec. 15, 1972.
While D was in medical school, Susan worked as a kindergarten teacher. They lived frugally with Susan sewing many of D’s clothes. Eventually they moved back to Knoxville for D to start his medical practice and for them to start a family. Their first son, Jay, was born Feb.19, 1981, followed by Reid on March 11, 1983, and finally a girl to finish the family, Caroline on Jan. 19, 1986.
Susan was an amazing mother and wife to her family. Her jobs included cooking, carpool driver, elder, PTA president, Cub Scout leader, mission trip leader, grill master, bed time reader, Sunday school teacher, Mrs. fix it, and everything in between. She chronicled her children’s lives in journals, she made custom cookbooks for the kids with each of their favorite recipes, and she never got tired or complained – not once. But Susan and D’s biggest challenge was yet to come.
On Nov. 7, 2006, their daughter Caroline was in a terrible car accident where she suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her with permanent physical disabilities. When Susan got the call from the hospital, she said the line that would come to exemplify her next decade, “Ok, what do we do next?”
Susan’s dedication to Caroline was unparalleled. She and D slept in a chair next to her hospital bed for months, only returning home to do laundry. She was at every therapy appointment, she argued with insurance companies to get more therapy, and she pushed Caroline to recover like only a mother can. Any time they hit a brick wall with bureaucracy or disability she’d say, “Ok, what do we do next?”
After years of being the perfect mother and nurse, Susan began forgetting appointments and medications. These were the first signs of Alzheimer’s Disease that would rapidly steal her faculties and eventually lead to her passing on Jan.29, 2018.
She is survived by her husband, David, her three children, Jay (Whitney), Reid (Krystal), and Caroline, and her three grandchildren James, Elizabeth, and Andrew. A celebration of life is planned for Feb. 17, 2018, 2 p.m. at Lake Hills Presbyterian Church, 3805 Maloney Rd, Knoxville, TN 37920.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Caroline Can Foundation (a fund honoring Caroline which supports traumatic brain injury education) through the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center by writing a check to Patricia Neal with Caroline Can in the notes section or to We Back Pat at http://www.patsummitt.org/ways_to_give.aspx.
Arrangements by Cremation Options, Inc. (865)6WE-CARE (693-2273) www.cremationoptionsinc.com