Thomas Rufus Owens

December 11, 1931 ~ July 14, 2020 (age 88)


Thomas Rufus Owens, Jr., 88, of Youngstown, departed this life on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 in Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

Mr. Owens, affectionately known as “Gus”, was born December 11, 1931 in Austin, Texas, a son of Thomas R. Sr. and Bessie Mae Conley Owens. He was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and studied music for 2 years at New York University. Gus worked as a mechanic for many years with Rayco, in Youngstown. He loved music and played with Miles Davis, James Brown and various other well-known artists. Locally, Gus played in venues in the Warren and Youngstown areas, including Sundays at “Jazz in the Park”. Gus enjoyed working on automobiles and of course his music. He was a retired U. S. Army veteran.

He is survived by his four sons, Billy Owens of Youngstown, Michael (Sharonting) Owens of Maryland, Benjamin (Morgan) Anderson and Charlie (Tisha) Anderson both of California; eight daughters, Carolyn (Henry) Nobles of Texas, Zina Hill of Youngstown, Joi Ikharo and Denise Black both of California, Kelly (Alan) Wilken of Virginia, Tracey Carthorne of Pennsylvania, Marvea (Pedro) Owens-Perez of Georgia, and Remithia (Darren) Strickland of Alabama; two sisters, Idanelle Barnett and Edith Prevost, and three brothers, William, Timothy, and Delmont Owens, all of California; 20 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great grandchildren; and a host of family and friends.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Mikolette Owens; a sister, Bobbie Arnold; and a brother Carlyle Owens.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, private services were held for the family. Arrangements entrusted to the L. E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home.


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