Shirley Owens McClanahan 1955 – 2023
The Owens family were Orange County “pioneers”, being one of the first African American families to live in Orange County. Shirley Owens McClanahan was born in Orange, CA on April 26, 1955, to the late Alfred L. Owens, Sr. and Roxy L. Love. She was youngest of thirteen children (8 brothers and 4 sisters).
Shirley attended Maple Elementary School, Fullerton High School, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Cal State University, Fullerton. While attending CSUF, Shirley worked at Fullerton Savings. Upon graduating she became a contract analyst and worked as Support Manager for Wang Laboratories working with IBM, Digital, TRW, and US government agencies. While working at Wang Laboratories she met and fell in love with John McClanahan. They married on January 21, 1984, and have been married for 39 years.
They are blessed with three beautiful daughters: Shelby, Sydney, & Skyler. And two poochies: Scout and Sawyer.
Shirley wanted to honor the legacy of her parents and family through her faith and belief that our purpose is rooted in serving God by loving and giving to others. She fulfilled her purpose through many outlets, including the Leon Owens Foundation which was founded by her and members of the Owens family in 1994.
The Leon Owens Foundation has provided over 300 scholarships, and assisted many schools and youth organizations. The goal is “Making a Difference Together” and to impact the lives of students.
Shirley led her life as a woman of faith and the belief in the power of God leading her each day. She loved being an auntie to a huge family and Mama Shirley to the bonus children that have come into her life.
Shirley is survived by her husband and best friend of 39 years, John, their three daughters Shelby, Sydney, and Skyler; her sister Dorothy Whitehurst and brothers Alfred Owens, Jr., David Owens, and Theodore Owens. Additional survivors include many loving relatives, especially her nieces, nephews, cousins, and many loving and devoted friends.
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Categories: Community Voices
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