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In Memory of
Derek Wayne Owens
August 13, 1971 - March 1, 2008

Hillcrest Memorial Park

Derek Wayne Owens
Police Officer Cleveland, Ohio

Birth: Aug. 13, 1971
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA

Death: Mar. 1, 2008
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA

Derek Wayne Owens, beloved husband, father, son, brother, police officer and friend, was born on August 13, 1971. He was taken from this life, all too soon, on March 1, 2008 while in the line of duty.

Derek was born in the City of Cleveland to Barbara and Wayne Owens and grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. From an early age, Derek showed an interest in the police force, often running around the house as a young child playing SWAT. At the age of five, he became a big brother to his sister Dawn, whom he affectionately termed his Little Muffin. He was quite protective of her through the years and thought that no one was good enough, until she met and married her husband Larry Watterson. Derek nicknamed him Lucky for being lucky to have met Dawn, and truly feeling as though he had found a brother. Derek was very excited about becoming an uncle to his nephew, due to be born in May, 2008. Being a big brother was a job that Derek took very seriously, not only to his biological sister, but to the scores of other individuals that he mentored, counseled and taught.

Derek attended Cleveland Heights High School for two years and then transferred to St. Peter Chanel High School where he graduated in 1989. After graduation, he moved to Toledo where he attended the University of Toledo for a total of three years. While in Toledo, he pursued many interests, both educational and social. On June 2, 1990, he became a member of the Brotherhood of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Throughout the years he has remained an active member and loyal Brother of his fraternal organization. In the school arena, he had several majors before eventually transferring to Cleveland State University and graduating with a major in Social Work and Criminal Justice.

While enrolled at the University of Toledo, Derek met his future wife, Ericka (nee Ames) Owens. They, in fact, met on the very first day of freshman orientation. Friends first, their relationship slowly blossomed and eventually a true romance bloomed. On September 20, 1997, they joined together in a Holy and Christ-filled marriage. As best friends, in addition to being husband and wife, Derek and Ericka were able to develop a true partnership with a strong foundation of love, honor and respect. This union produced two beautiful children, Sydni Mykal, age eight, and Chandler Wayne, age six. Derek was a truly devoted and dedicated father, spending countless hours with his children entertaining, coaching, teaching and nurturing them. The home of Derek and Ericka was the neighborhood residence where you could always count on a warm smile, a funny joke and welcoming arms to embrace you.

Dereks strong work ethic manifested itself at a very young age. After graduating from Cleveland State University, he started working for the Juvenile Division as a Probation Officer. In this job capacity, he was able to get a taste of law enforcement, and his desire to protect and to serve became stronger. He then decided to enter the police force and graduated from the Cleveland Police Academy in 1998. From the very beginning, Derek exhibited a dedication and commitment like no other. As a Police Officer for the City of Cleveland, Derek worked very briefly for the Fifth District, but spent the vast majority of his ten-year career in the Fourth District. He worked very hard and had a true desire to change the lives of the individuals he encountered in his day to day police dealings.

Derek spent his entire life serving others, whether it was formally in his appointed career or via impromptu decisions and advice. He never met a stranger and made a lasting impression on everyone he met. Both children and adults, alike, grew to love and respect him. Derek grew up in the Church and accepted Christ at a young age. He and Ericka instilled the values and teachings of the Lord into their young children, striving to bring them up in the Word. Although his life ended abruptly and all too soon, the mark that he left in this world is one that can never be erased. His infectious spirit will live on forever in the hearts and lives of those who were fortunate enough to know him.

Derek is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, William and Ruth Williams; his paternal grandparents, Doc Percy and Nellie Owens; father-in-law, Billy Ray Ames; maternal uncle, Eric Williams; close friend, Kevin "Tippy" Bishop; and cousins, Deneen Owens Miller and Darel Owens.

He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Ericka Owens; daughter, Sydni; son, Chandler; parents, Wayne and Barbara Owens; sister, Dr. Dawn Owens-Watterson (Larry); mother-in-law, Carolyn Ames; brother-in-law, Bernard Ames; god-children, Logan Griffin and Taylor Smith; as well as a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, fraternity brothers and colleagues.

Owens, 36, died early Saturday from a gunshot wound to the abdomen he suffered while on duty. He was shot late Friday while chasing four suspects who were drinking beer in the garage of an abandoned house on Parkview Avenue.

Burial: Hillcrest Memorial Park
Bedford Heights, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA