This morning, Wendell Owen died. Wendell is from the Davis County Cooperative, or the “Kingston group” as they are often referred to. I have had the fortune to know some of Wendell’s wives and children very well. I was even involved with putting a talent show together that represented people from various fundamentalist polygamous families and communities that his wife helped me with.
I don’t know how big Wendell’s family is, but I know he impacted a lot of people. He was a kind and gentle man. So many stereotypes of men in polygamy revolve around controlling, self-serving egomaniac men, but like so many men I have known that live this way, Wendell was a humble man dedicated to service of his family and others.
If you ever thought of reaching out to someone in a time of loss or tragedy, don’t hesitate. I have heard some say they avoided someone because it would be awkward and they wouldn’t know what to say or were afraid of saying the wrong thing. But sincere concern and love given freely can have a huge impact on people. It can bring sunshine to the darkest of days. It can bring hope when hope seems lost.
This is even true when the person is old and expected to die. I believe Wendell was in his 90′s so this death was certainly not a surprise. Regardless of the expectation or not, when the moment finally happens there is so much release of emotions that develop. Our prayers are with the Owen family. When we called today to give our condolences and asked what can be done, that was all that was requested, so that is what we offer. Much love to the Owen family!