Frances Penrose Owen, 19
Frances Penrose Owen, 19, daughter of Whitman
president Stephen B. L. Penrose and one of Washington states
most distinguished educators, died March 9. She was 102.
Owen majored in Greek at Whitman, where her father
served as president for 40 years. She graduated magna cum laude
and Phi Beta Kappa. After earning a masters degree in education
from Harvard University, she worked at Frederick & Nelsons
in Seattle until 1934, when she married Henry B. Owen.
In 1934 she began an association with Seattle Childrens
Orthopedic Hospital that continued for 36 years. Her leadership
and fund raising helped turn the hospital into a nationally-known
pediatric care center.
Eventually, Owen also became one of the most important
women in Washington state in the field of education. She served
on the Seattle School Board for 22 years. She was appointed Washington
State Universitys first woman regent and spent 18 years on
the board including two terms as president. She was president of
both the Association of Washington School Directors and the Association
of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities.
Owen received several Seattle and King County outstanding
citizen awards. In 1989 the Seattle School Board dedicated the Frances
Penrose Owen Auditorium at the district headquarters, and in 1979,
Washington State University named a new science and engineering
library for her. In 1990 Owen received Washington states highest
award, the Medal of Merit.
An overseer of Whitman College, Owen gave $1 million
in 1992 to established a scholarship. The Frances Penrose Owen Scholarship
is now valued at $2.2 million.
She is survived by her daughter Frances Owen Pease,
58, and stepson, Henry B. Owen, Jr., 41. Whitman survivors
also include seven nieces and nephews: Frances Copeland Stickels,
50, Margaret Copeland Corley, 52, Clement Penrose, Jr.,
50, Mary Louise Penrose Cadwell, 51, Nathanial Penrose,
Jr., 55, Phyllis Penrose Bignold, 56, and Margaret Penrose