Joseph LaFayette Owsley, age 89, of Paducah, Kentucky, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at Rivercrest Place.
Joe, as he was known by friends and family, was born on April 2, 1933, to the late Howard and Sally Yancey Owsley, of Bandana, Kentucky. He was a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and Murray State University with degrees in Education. He started his tenure as an industrial arts teacher at Heath High School before becoming the first principal of Heath Middle School in 1968. He loved helping kids, especially the middle school age group. He helped pilot the first Drop Out Prevention program at Lake Worth Middle School, in Lake Worth, FL which targeted middle school age kids that were on the path to dropping out before they reached high school. After spending two years under the guidance of Mr. Owsley, they would attend a trade school, gaining not only a high school diploma, but also an apprenticeship in a trade of their choice. Mr. Owsley retired in Jan. 2007, from the Palm Beach County School system after having served over 30 years in the field. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Wellington, Florida and a long-time member of Spring Bayou Baptist Church of Kevil, Kentucky.
Mr. Owsley is survived by his two sons, Kendall Owsley (Kim) of Piperton, Tennessee, Howard Keith Owsley (Melody) of Racine Wisconsin; a foster daughter Becky Heflin Hanrahan of Paducah; and long-time family friend, Rachel Lynn Dodson of Paducah; his sister, Joyce Jordan Griggs of Tennessee; his grandchildren, Courtney Owsley Ketterer (Logan) of Montreal, Canada, Zachary Owsley of Bloomington/Normal Illinois, Rob Hanrahan (Melanie) of Glasgow, Kentucky and Rose Beth Hanrahan Wilson of Paducah.
Mr. Owsley was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Carolyn Allen Owsley.
Funeral services are scheduled for 1:00 P.M. Saturday, January 14, 2023 at Milner and Orr funeral home of Paducah with Pastor Wes Morehead officiating.
Visitation will be between the hours of 11:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. Saturday, January 14, 2023 at Milner and Orr funeral home of Paducah.
There will be a private burial service.
The family would like to express their deepest appreciation to the staff of Rivercrest Place.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to Spring Bayou Baptist Church, 11205 Woodville Rd. Kevil, KY 42053.