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In Memory Of Our Poets

William 'Bill' Reese Owsley (1932-2019) - Class Of 1951

The funeral services for Mr. William Reese Owsley, Jr., 87, of Anniston, will be at 1 pm on Thursday, May 2, 2019, at Parker Memorial Baptist Church with Dr. Mack Amis officiating and assisted by Don Gober and Katharine Jackson Nichols. Burial will follow at Highland Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 11 am until 1 pm on Thursday at the church.

Mr. Owsley passed away on April 27, 2019, at his home surrounded by his loving family. Mr. Owsley was born in Montgomery on April 9, 1932, to William Reese Owsley and Lucie Rivers Jackson Owsley. He graduated from Sidney Lanier High School where he played in the band. After graduation, he attended The University of Alabama where he was the drum major for The Million Dollar Band and a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He joined the United States Marine Corps and was in the Marine Band.

Upon completion of his service, he returned to The University to graduate with a degree in Music Education. After graduation, Mr. Owsley moved to Anniston to become the band director at Anniston High School. It was here, at Grace Church, where he met Alys Hinton Boozer. They married on June 6, 1958, at Parker Memorial Baptist Church where they remained lifelong members. He was a deacon at Parker Memorial for many years, taught Sunday School, and led a conference-call Bible study every Sunday for shut-in members of the church. He was a constant presence in the choir and a member of the orchestra from its inception.

Some time after his marriage to Alys, Mr. Owsley was convinced to come to work for the family business, Boozer Lumber Company. There he changed the company into a leading manufacturer of structural glued laminated timber beams, called Boozer Laminated Beam Company. From his leadership there as President and CEO, he led Boozer to become known around the world for its products known as Boozer Beams.

Mr. Owsley was very involved in his community and was the first president of the Anniston Historical Society. He was a history buff and always enjoyed reading and learning about American History. He was also a member of Anniston Rotary Club for many years and served on the Board of Directors of AmSouth Bank. His lifelong love of classical music led him to become a founding board member of the Knox Concert Series.

Mr. Owsley is preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Bess Owsley Rockett, and a son, William Reese Owsley, III. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Alys Hinton Boozer Owsley, of Anniston; a daughter, Lucie Jackson Owsley, of Anniston; a son, Hinton Boozer Owsley and his wife, Wendi Harris Owsley, of Anniston; and grandchildren, Walker Jackson Owsley, William Reece Owsley IV (Liam), Rivers Whitman Owsley, Hinton Boozer Owsley, Jr., Harris McKeithen Owsley, and Emma Burk Owsley.

Pallbearers will be Stanley Nelson, Marty Phillips, Nathan Pritchett, Ike Brown, Larry Blake, and Aundray Moten.

Honorary pallbearers will be Don Gober, Randy Lusk, Joe Duckett, Robert Guyton, Bill Gunnells, Tom Muller, and Ralph White.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Parker Memorial Baptist Church
1205 Quintard Avenue
Anniston AL 36201