Frank J. Owens


Frank J. Owens passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home on Sunday, January 9, 2022. He had shared 82 years of unconditional love, infectious laughter, priceless wisdom, and unforgettable memories with family and friends.


Born in Dublin, Ireland to the late Arthur and Kathleen Owens, Frank and his family emigrated to the United States when he was 6 years old. They settled into the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Growing up he played basketball in school and on New York city’s playgrounds including the legendary street basketball court known as the “Eagle”. He graduated from Power Memorial Academy and earned a New York State Regents Scholarship in the sciences. Frank went on to earn his Bachelor of Science Degree from Manhattan College, where he made the dean’s list, and his Master of Science Degree and PhD from the University of Connecticut. Following completion of his PhD, he worked for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center outside of Washington DC, during the peak of the Space Race.


His family remained his first priority. He married his best friend and soulmate Janice “Jan” Rourke in a small church in Connecticut. They lived in Little Falls, NJ and started a family of their own before moving to the Indian Lake Section of Denville. Frank was an excellent and caring provider for his family.  Frank spent his career as acclaimed physicist at Picatinny Arsenal, where he was awarded numerous Army R&D awards and was named a fellow of the American Physical Society. He published numerous scientific books and papers in the areas of superconductivity and nanotechnology, and he truly loved his pursuit of science.   


He loved watching and playing sports with his son. He was an avid tennis player and enjoyed learning to sail. He loved news and politics and was always ready for a spirted debate on the current events of the day. He also enjoyed Irish poetry and spy novels. He enjoyed traveling the world and he visited at least 14 countries.


He was an attentive husband, devoted father, loving grandfather, and dependable friend. Although we are deeply saddened by his passing, we take comfort in knowing that he is now reunited with his beloved wife, Jan, and his parents and other family members that have gone before him. He leaves a legacy of hard work and dedication that will be passed on for generations to come.


Left to continue his legacy are his cherished son and daughter-in-law, Arthur and Katie Owens; his treasured granddaughter, Keavy; his caring nephew, Robert Turner and his wife Suzanne and their children, Juli and Riley; and many extended family and dear friends.

Public Visitation will take place on Thursday, January 13th from 4 – 7 pm at Norman Dean Home for Services, 16 Righter Avenue, Denville, NJ 07834. Funeral Service will take place on Friday, January 14th at 12 PM at the Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Hanover. Memorial Donations are being accepted in Frank's memory to American Association of Physics Teachers. Please leave a condolence, light a candle, and share your favorite memory of Frank here to continue to celebrate the incredible life he bestowed upon us.