Hartley Owen

Hartley Owen (BS Chem Egr ’52) of Worton, Md., died July 15, 2011, at University of Maryland Hospital. He was 83. Owen enlisted in the U.S. Navy before finishing high school, and served as a Gunners Mate, First Class on the USS LST 587 during World War II in the Pacific. He was honorably discharged in 1946, and returned to finish high school. He went on to attend Michigan State University, and graduated with high honors. He was president of Tau Beta Pi and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi. After graduation, Owen worked for Esso Research and Engineering Company for 10 years, and Mobil Research and Development Corporation for 31 years, retiring in 1992.

Owen was a world-renowned inventor and expert in the oil industry in refinery process development, fluidized solids, and fluid catalytic cracking. He was a prolific inventor and the author and co-author of more than 280 U.S. patents dealing primarily with oil refining technology, chemicals, and synthetic fuels. He was recognized by Mobil as the inventor with the most patents ever assigned to Mobil by one inventor and is one of the leading patent holders in the U.S. patent office.

After retiring he moved to the eastern shore of Maryland. He was a founding member, elder, and trustee of the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church in New Jersey, and a member of the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown, Md., where he loved to sing in the choir. Owen was an avid sailor and loved to travel, ski, and garden.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Belle Wagner Owen in 1991. He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Jannette Ann Talbot Owen of Worton, Md.; one son Russell "Russ" Owen of Vienna, Va.; five daughters, Diane Kramer of Charlotte, N.C., Janice Weaver of Holden, Mass., Beth Cunane of Centreville, Md., Jo Ann Bailey of Cinnaminson, N.J., and Mari Ann Donnelly of Stevensville, Md.; two brothers, Charles J. Owen of Phoenix, Ariz., and George Edward Owen of Dartmouth, Mass.; fourteen grandchildren, and his two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Annie and Nee'ce.