Martha Jane Peeler Owens

Published 12:01 am Thursday, August 22, 2019

March 20, 1938 – Aug. 19, 2019

NATCHEZ— Services for Martha Jane Peeler Owens, 81, of Natchez, who died Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson will be 10:30 a.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church in Natchez.
Burial will follow at Shaw Cemetery, in Shaw, under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.
Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until service time at the church.
Known to her friends and family as Jay, she was an English teacher for middle and high school students for almost 30 years, the majority of that time at Trinity Episcopal School in Natchez. Educating and encouraging students was her calling. Jay was a very dedicated and exceptional teacher who had a positive influence on decades of students.
She earned a number of awards in her career as an outstanding and star teacher. For many years, Trinity Episcopal School selected an outstanding senior to receive the Martha J. Owens Excellence in English Award.
Jay graduated magna cum laude from Mississippi State College for Women, earning a bachelor of administration. She later earned her master’s degree.
She met Robert “Red” Owens in 1960, and they married in 1963. They made Natchez their home in 1965. They were blessed with one son in 1967, Robert Glenn Owens.
Jay spent her time between teaching and caring for her family.  She was also very active in community organizations. She took great pride in being a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was also very active in the Natchez Garden Club from 1970 to 2012.
Jay truly loved traveling and welcomed every opportunity to experience other cultures and see places of great historical significance.

She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Dr. Joseph Glenn Peeler and Bernice Odom Peeler; her husband, Robert Lamar “Red” Owens; one sister-in-law, Catherine Hardy; two nephews, Michael Hardy of Charleston and Joseph Glenn Peeler III of Shaw.
Survivors include one son, Robert Glenn Owens and wife, Marianna (whom she loved as her own daughter;) one brother, Dr. Joseph Glenn Peeler Jr. and wife, Natalie, of Shaw; one niece, Alline Peeler Somlai and husband, Louis, of Indianapolis, Indiana; and one nephew, Raymond Hardy of Charleston.
Pallbearers will be Brian Mulhearn, Joey Boothe, John Dees, Gary Ballard, Benjy Wilson, Steve Temple, Wayne Williams and DeShaun Jackson.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Daughters of the American Revolution William Dunbar Chapter or the Preservation Society of Elliott Hall.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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