Catherine Toolan "Kay" Owen

Catherine “Kay” Owen, 96, of McLean and Fairfax, 1921-2017. Loving wife of the late John “Chet” Owen, is survived by her four children Jeffrey (Kate), Susan Miles (Calvin), Nancy Owen (John Einbinder), and Carol Benson (Mike); 13 grandsons (they ALL listened to Grandma); one great-grandson, three great-grand daughters, and several nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sisters, Marion and Teresa, and their extended families. Kay received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics and physics in 1942 from New Jersey College for Women, now part of Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Kay met Chet while they both worked at Bendix Corporation where she was employed for eight years as an optical designer. Kay left Bendix in 1950 when their first child was born and tackled the role of wife, mother, and grandmother with patience and a sense of humor. During their marriage, Chet, an aerospace engineer, and the family were transferred from New Jersey to Michigan, and in 1962 settled in McLean, Virginia, where they resided in the same house for decades. Kay, an avid cook, gardener, and seamstress, volunteered on numerous occasions to cook fund-raising luncheons and dinners, often for 100-500 people, for many local community organizations, including the Fairfax YWCA, St. John’s Episcopal Church, the McLean Women’s Republican Club, and the McLean Garden Club. In 1976, Chet was re-located to Brussels, Belgium, for five years where he, Kay, and Carol made many friends and traveled extensively. Upon returning to the States, Chet retired and he and Kay continued to enjoy their lovely home in McLean and were actively involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren, for which Jeff, Susan, Nancy, and Carol are eternally grateful.


The family extends its sincere gratitude to The Gardens at Fair Oaks staff where Kay resided for the last seven years. In memory of Kay, donations may be made to The Gardens Friends at Work Fund, The Gardens at Fair Oaks, 4310 Forest Hill Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030.

A service to celebrate the life of Kay Owen will be held at Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon, VA 20171 on Saturday, January 20 at 11:00 a.m.