Calvin "Pony" Owens

Calvin Donald Owens, widely known as “Pony,” was born in rural Yazoo County, Mississippi on October 4, 1950.  Followed by a brief illness and surrounded by close family members, he departed this life in the early morning on Mother’s Day - Sunday, May 12, 2019 at his residence in Detroit, Michigan.

Born to LeBertha “Sister” Knight and Fred Owens Sr., Calvin was the seventh of nine siblings who also shared a close family bond with four first cousins all  reared together as siblings  in the same household.  Both parents, three biological siblings – Ernestine Powell Bunch, James Wesley Powell, Sr. and Curtis Owens, Sr., as well as a sister-cousin – Gloria Knight Muhammad - all predeceased him.

“Pony” lived a blessed childhood growing up as a “Lil’ Mississippi Country Boy” in Bentonia before moving to the “big town” of Yazoo City during his early teen years. He was educated in both the Yazoo County School District and Yazoo City Municipal School District, and he shared an eventful path with fellow classmates of N. D. Taylor High School Class of 1969.  After leaving high school, Calvin Owens relocated to Detroit and connected with two of his older brothers in the electrical contracting business.  After earning   certification as a licensed electrician, he was employed for over 20 years as a team leader at the Budd Company before establishing his own company, along with his brother. Their company – C & C Electrical Contractors - and diverse staff provided top quality services in businesses and residences throughout the City of Detroit, across the State of Michigan, as well as in their native Mississippi.  A loyal and dedicated employee and employer, Calvin “Pony” Owens always demonstrated strong work ethics, and he instilled that value in all with whom he encountered. 

At an early age, Calvin Owens was baptized at the Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church in rural Yazoo County, Mississippi.  In his adulthood, he continued to exemplify his Christian/faith-based qualities and united with Love Baptist Church in Detroit under the leadership of Pastor Sam Johnson.  He also attended the New Greater Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church near his residence where Pastor Eddie J. Patterson serves as officiant.

Pony was large in stature, personality and heart.  He loved life, he loved family, and he LOVED Dot (his wife of 41 years.  He was an extraordinary father and a doting grandfather who tried to ensure that his children and grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and EVERYBODY’s children had every health, educational and recreational experience in his power to give them.  He instilled in them that obtaining a good education would allow them to do anything worthwhile, and he “ordered” them to share their knowledge and resources with others, especially those who had met some unfortunate circumstances in their lives. He believed there was some good in everybody, and he believed that he should give all good in him to everybody.

He never met a stranger; he didn’t base relationships on class or economic status; he looked at the character of man instead of at the material possessions..  If anyone ever called on him for assistance, his instant reply was:  “Yes, together, we will get it done”…and he had no reservations about “delegating” assignments to anyone in his family or circle of friends to ascertain that, regardless to the task, it will be done!

He was a lover of sports, and football was his favorite.  He was a most dedicated fan who never gave up on the Detroit Lions, and he believed EVERYBODY else should be a Lions fan too.  One of his proudest moments was winning the annual cooking/tailgating contest sponsored by Jack Daniels and Detroit Lions. Although it had been way over fifteen (15) years since the Ultimate Tailgaters (a team of chefs and football fanatics he helped to organize in 2001) captured the winning title, Pony displayed the trophy EVERY year, year-around in Detroit and everywhere else he traveled. The colorful life of Calvin “Pony” Owens is one like no other.  The memories shall live forever and the LOVE never dies.

Those left to cherish his memory and continue his legacy are – a devoted wife, Dorothy King Owens, five children – Annette, Keith (Curtrise), James/”Spanky”, Katherine and Kizuwanda; nine grandchildren – Kiyauna (Chris), Karmen, Kennedy, Chris, Jr., Calvin, Brenda, Sabiya, Efuru and Nailah; his  Godson (Jacob Shepherd) and a foster son (Carlos); five siblings -   (Georgia Stubblefield, Fred (Vidette) Owens, Jr., Charles (Freda Owens), Cleveland Owens and Gloria Elayne Owens; three “other” siblings – Jerline Knight Holbrook, Bobbie Knight and Ernest/Banks (Gloria Jean) Knight; two brothers-in law – Bill (Marlene) Parson and Floyd Parson; two sisters –in law – Lourdes “Lulu” Powell and Chestine Goodman – and a host of nieces/nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.