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Owens Family Joint Celebration of Life for Brigman and Marvin

Fullerton’s Owens Family is inviting the public to a Celebration of Life for brothers Brigman and Marvin who both passed away this summer. The event will be held on Sunday, September 25 from 2pm to 4pm at Fullerton Union High School Football Stadium, 201 E. Chapman Ave. with reception following in the gym.

The Owens family is considered one of Fullerton’s best-known pioneer families. Alfred and Roxie Owens migrated from Linden, Texas to Southern California in the early 1940s. They settled in Orange County and were one of the first African American families to purchase a home in Fullerton. Their children were raised in Fullerton; the family continues to serve the community and youth.

Brigman Owens passed on June 21 in Maryland (Washington DC metro) and his brother Marvin Duane Owens passed away on July 12 in Los Angeles, just weeks after his older brother. The brothers were part of a large Fullerton family of 12 children born to the late Alfred Lee Owens Sr. and Roxie Lee Love Owens. Both brothers won numerous local honors for their outstanding high school and college athletic accomplishments and both played in the NFL and then pursued other careers.

Brigman and Marvin Owens.

Brigman played multiple sports in high school; football, basketball and track and was captain in all of them. He was starting quarterback at Fullerton High, at Fullerton College (FJC) and the University of Cincinnati. Brigman was inducted into the Fullerton College Hall of Fame in 1991 and Fullerton High School Hall of Fame in 2017. He received numerous awards for his dedication to the community and youth organizations.

Brigman Owens, as starting quarterback, led Fullerton College to its first ever Orange Bowl game in 1961 and received All-American honors in his second season. He was inducted into the Fullerton College Hall of Fame, the University of Cincinnati Athletics Hall of Fame, and the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame.

He went on to a 13 year career with the National Football League playing professionally for the Dallas Cowboys and then the Washington Commanders until retiring in 1977. He was assistant executive director of the NFL Players Association and founded a commercial real estate development company.

Brig was an Antioch School of Law graduate and earned a Doctorate of Juris Prudence from Potomac School of Law. Brig also won numerous awards for his work with youth leadership and development and drug prevention programs in the Washington DC area where he lived. Brig is survived by Patti, his wife and best friend of 57 years; his daughters and their spouses Robin Owens Wright (Reno) and Tracy Owens Vance (Kevin); grandchildren Reyna, Owen, and Zazi.

Marvin Duane “Marvelous Marv” Owens was a triple sport athlete excelling in football, basketball, and baseball. He was inducted into both the Fullerton High and Fullerton College Halls of Fame.

Marvin was drafted in 1970 by the Oakland A’s but declined choosing instead to play for San Diego State University Aztecs and after graduation in 1972 was drafted by NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Padres. He went on to play with the St Louis Cardinals and New York Jets before hanging up his cleats in 1976 and beginning his 30-year career at Valencia Bank in Fullerton. Upon retirement, Marvin coached Varsity Football at Fullerton High School where he really enjoyed working with the players and coaching staff. He was a founding member of the Leon Owens Foundation (named in honor of his late brother Leon) and loved serving youth organizations and providing college scholarships.

After enduring five years of dialysis, Marvin received a kidney transplant in 2014 at USC Keck Medical Center which gave him a new lease on life at age 63. Marvin is survived by his wife of 47 years, Romell Foster-Owens, daughter Natasha and son Brigman Foster-Owens.

Brothers Brigman and Marvin Owens.

Both brothers are survived by sisters Shirley Owens McClanahan (John) and Dorothy Owens Whitehurst (Rufus), and brothers Alfred Jr (Glenora), David (Claudette), and Ted (Lowanna) and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Preceding Marvin and Brigman in death are brothers Jewel, Leon, and Jesse and sisters Audry Mae Gardner and Larence Jeffries, as well as their father Alfred Lee Owens Sr., mother Roxie Lee Love Owens, grandmother Penny Owens and grandfather Tiny Knight-Owens.

Due to the Fullerton Boys and Girls Club having such an incredible influence on Brigman and Marvin’s life, the family would like in lieu of flowers that donations go to support the Fullerton Boys and Girls Club located at 340 W. Commonwealth Ave in Fullerton 92832. Any questions—contact Brett Ackerman at (714) 871-1391. When making online (boysgirlsclubfullerton.com) donations, put in the description, “In Memory of Brigman and Marvin Owens.” 

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