Our beloved mother, Wilhelmenia Louise Emanuel Owens, widow of Tony Owens Jr., entered eternal rest on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at her residence, after a brief illness, surrounded by her loved ones at home.

She was born on Aug. 16, 1936, in Marion County. At an early age, she confessed and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, then began her Christian journey serving on behalf of Christ. Wilhelmenia joined Springville Church in Marion in her youth. Upon moving to Sumter County, she joined Emanuel United Methodist Church, then later joined Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church, where she served faithfully as a trustee and continued her service until her passing.

Her formal education began in the public schools of Marion County and furthered at Allen University, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in 1957.

Wilhelmenia entered the work world and began as a teacher at Spearman High School, and it was there that she met and eventually married her husband Tony Owens Jr. She accepted a position at Morris College in Sumter and was employed there from 1960 until 2002. She gave 42 years of dedicated and exemplary service as an accountant, where she touched many lives with her warm and easy spirit. After retiring from Morris College, she diligently worked side by side with her beloved husband, until his passing in 2017.

Not known for standing out in a crowd or in the spotlight, Wilhelmenia was a soft-spoken, caring woman. While she may not have been a woman of many words, her loving, nurturing and generous spirit touched the lives of many. She felt great pleasure in extending a helping hand and providing guidance to others just to see them flourish and succeed.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her mother, Sallie E. McCoy; grandfather, Gary Emanuel; grandmother, Rachel Garrison Emanuel; uncle, Howard Emanuel Sr.; aunt, Willie Mae Eaddy; and nephew, William Emanuel.

She leaves to cherish precious memories: her loving and devoted children, son, Antonio "Squeaky" Owens and daughter, Karen (Bernard) Blanding; cousins reared as siblings, Sally (Madison) Jenkins and Howard (Shanda) Emanuel Jr.; grandchildren, Cornelius "Alex" Blanding, Cordell Blanding Sr., Camron Blanding, Deneeka Durant, Antonia (Michael) Lewis, Courtney Owens, Antonette Rubin, Tedric Owens, Tevin Owens, Ashleigh Harriott, Janell Heyward, Jaquan Heyward and Lashanda Holmes; and a host of nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends of the community.

"Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." Proverbs 31:31

Public viewing will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. today at Job's Mortuary.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church, 609 Manning Ave., Sumter, SC 29150 with Pastor Ricky Simmons officiating and Pastor Marion H. Newton, eulogist. Interment will follow in Hillside Memorial Park, Sumter, SC 29154.

In lieu of flowers, please make all donations to Alala Cancer Society, 3400 Harden St. Ext., Columbia, SC 29203, call (803)-569-4373 or contact the website at www.alala.info.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 7 p.m. daily at the home, 51 Albert Spears Drive, Sumter, SC 29150.

Job's Mortuary Inc., 312 S. Main St., Sumter, is in charge of arrangements.

Online memorials may be sent to the family at jobsmortuaryinc@gmail.com or visit us on the web at www.jobsmortuary.net.