Owen Joseph “OJ” Barlow, 50, hard worker with an infectious spirit and positive attitude

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Owen Joseph Barlow
Owen Joseph Barlow

WILMINGTON — Owen Joseph “OJ” Barlow, 50, of Wilmington, North Carolina, passed away suddenly on Nov. 3, 2016. Owen was born on July 29, 1966, at a U.S. Army Hospital at Camp Zama in Kanagawa-ken, Japan, to Francis and Alma (Fangman) Barlow.

Owen, in a foreign service family, spent much of his childhood outside of the United States, primarily in Hokkaido, Japan, and Vienna, Austria.

He graduated from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, in 1984, where he was in the Virginia 821st AFJROTC, C Flight. He served as Color Guard co-commander and was on the Drill Team. Owen was an active Boy Scout and achieved Eagle Scout status.

Owen graduated from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was a proud member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and received his B.A. in Psychology in 1993. Owen continued his education with classes at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Owen worked at Camp Marriott of the Goshen Scout Reservation in Goshen, Virginia, from 1985-1999 and volunteered at Goshen through the summer of 2016. He held many positions from Scout craft instructor to program director, and made an enormous impact on Goshen, the scouts and the staff.

His hard work, infectious spirit and positive attitude had a positive effect on all who knew him. His love for the outdoors, his imagination and his interest in learning about and teaching outdoor and survival skills and crafts set him apart from many and brought him and others together in ambitious projects.

Owen particularly enjoyed making, and teaching others to make, decorative and functional objects. Those who worked with and were taught by Owen will always carry Owen’s knowledge and wit with them. His legacy lives on at Camp Marriott, where he created a special area with a giant chessboard that is called the OJ Corral.

At the time of his passing, Owen was employed as Asset Protection Manager at Sam’s Club in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he spent 23 years.

Owen was curious, well-spoken, extremely imaginative and well-read. He was a master of word play and always ready with a funny pun or joke. He was a dignified and gentlemanly man – even in his usual attire of hiking boots and cargo shorts. A talented craftsman and outdoorsman, Owen was happiest when engaging in a new project and sharing his knowledge and talent with others.

Known lovingly as OJ by his family, he was preceded in death by his parents. OJ is survived by his siblings: Christine (Ross) Simpson, Gregory Barlow, Ceci (Terry) Barlow-Stafford, Michael Barlow, Thomas (Mike) Barlow, Stephen (Mary) Barlow, and Margaret (Robert) Moore; 12 nephews and nieces; his Aunt Ruth; many cousins; and many, many friends.

Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, at Andrews Market Street Chapel in Wilmington, North Carolina. Visitation will take place on Friday, Nov. 11 from 5-7 p.m. at Andrews Market Street Chapel.

Owen’s family will host a reception following the service for OJ’s family and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Goshen Scout Reservation at Camp Marriott.