Memorial service for former Ellesmere mayor and community campaigner

A memorial service is being held for a former Ellesmere town mayor.

Kath Owen
Kath Owen

Kath Owen passed away last month aged 95, with a memorial service being held today at St Mary's Church in the town.

Her family say Mrs Owen worked tirelessly to improve Ellesmere’s facilities and image and she was a leading light in the fight to keep the Lakelands's Secondary School open.

Mrs Owen's family moved to Ellesmere when she was five and she followed in her mother’s footsteps, training as a teacher.

She met and married Doug Owen who ran the family business, Owen of Ellesmere, a menswear and house furnishings retailer.

For nine years, she taught physiotherapy students at the Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen then taught at Ellesmere College, where she was one of the first teachers in the county specialising in dyslexia.

She later took on the role of chairman of governors of Lakelands, and also served as a governor of Ellesmere College.

Mrs Owen developed a strong interest in encouraging local enterprises, including the youth club and the Ellesmere Cottage Hospital League of Friends. She became a town councillor and was mayor in 1979 and 1980.

As well as leading the fight to keep open Lakelands Secondary School, under threat of closure, Mrs Owen became committee chairman for the Ellesmere Festival in 1983.

Her son, Mark, said: "The Duke of Westminster opened the four-day event and she spent the first day accompanying him in visiting the various displays and attractions, the pair being driven round in a vintage Rolls Royce.

"She dedicated her efforts to championing everything Ellesmere," he added.

Mrs Owen is survived by her two children, Mark and Julie, and by four grandchildren.

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