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OWENS Florence E. Barnes "Rosie the Riveter"

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OWENS Florence E. Barnes "Rosie the Riveter"

Posted: 17 Dec 2010 4:30PM GMT
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Bixler, Barnes
YOUNGSTOWN - Florence Elizabeth Reed Owens, 90, passed away early Monday morning, Dec. 13, 2010, at Greenbriar Nursing Home in Boardman, Ohio.

Florence was born May 3, 1920, in Jamestown, New York, a daughter of the late Merle and Florence Bixler Barnes, and came to Youngstown, Ohio as a child.

In 1942, Florence became the first woman to work in a steel mill, employed at Youngstown Sheet & Tube during World War II, and was depicted as the first “Rosie the Riveter” in The Youngstown Vindicator.

She leaves to cherish her memory two daughters, Shirley “Bonnie” DiMaiolo, with whom she made her home, and Faith Kinney of California; a son, David (Nancy) Reed of Arizona; three sisters, Alice Swartz of Colorado, Sally Conniff of New York, and Valerie Nunn of New York; two brothers, Paul Furden and Ronald Furden, both of California; four grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; a great-great-granddaughter; a sister-in-law, Donna Cooper, to whom she was close; and many, many nieces and nephews.

Florence will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Her first husband, Arnold Reed, whom she married in 1941, passed away in 1968. Her second husband, Larry Owens, whom she married in 1971, passed away in 1995. Two sisters, Janet Bowman and Shirley Cramer, and three brothers, Merle Cramer, Jimmy Furden, and Dale Furden, are also deceased.

Family and friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18, at Kinnick Funeral Home, 477 N. Meridian Road, Youngstown, where funeral services will take place at 7 p.m.

Visit to view this obituary and to send condolences online to Florence’s family.

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