Cover photo for Jean Lawson Ownbey's Obituary
Jean Lawson Ownbey Profile Photo
1929 Jean 2019

Jean Lawson Ownbey

October 31, 1929 — October 7, 2019

Jean Lawson Ownbey passed away at Life Care Centers of Cleveland on October, 7, 2019.  Jean was born October 31, 1929, and was a lifelong resident of Cleveland.  She was a member of First Baptist Church and the Retired Teachers Association. 

Jean studied at Harding College and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and obtained a BS degree in Education and a Masters in Counseling.  She began her teaching career at Trevena School, where she coached girls’ softball and basketball.  She moved to Allen School, then George R. Stuart, where she enjoyed planning the May Day programs.  She then took a teaching position at Arnold School, where she began teaching Math classes, and then moved to Bradley High School where she taught Algebra until her retirement in 1985.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Phillip Lee Ownbey and parents, Paul and Berdie Lou Lawson; in-laws, Robert Lee and Helen Jane Ownbey; siblings George Davis Lawson, Fred Edward Lawson, Dr. French Kyle Lawson, Carroll Barton (Penny) Lawson, Charles David Lawson and Doyle Lawson.

She is survived by her children, Mike Ownbey and wife, Paulette and Gincy May and husband, Dr. Bill May; five grandchildren, Lee Ownbey and wife, Laurie, Jason Ownbey, Kyle Ownbey, Dr. Russ May and wife, Caitlin, Dr. Kate May Kirksey and husband, Bryce; seven great-grandchildren, Matthew Ownbey, Victoria Ownbey, Natalie May, Will May, Benji May, Miles Kirksey and Sage Kirksey; sister, Sue and Royce Presley and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 10, 2019 in Sunset Memorial Gardens with the Reverend Tom Wickes officiating.  Jason Ownbey, Derek Presley, Dr. Russ May, Bryce Kirksey, Kimball Presley, Shane Geren and Jeff Lawson will serve as pallbearers.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday October 9, 2019 at Ralph Buckner Funeral Home.

We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Ownbey family guestbook at


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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