Book Cover

Vergil L. Owen (8003)

Father: Edgar "Ed" Owen (7045)
Mother: Nellie Roberts

b. November 17, 1932 in Gridley, Butte County, California [Terri]

d. January 8, 2001 in Gilroy, California

m. December 25, 1951 in Gridley, California, Frankie Geneva Robinson Terri

Issue: [Thelma]

Steven Owen

Terri Owen

m2. Delores A. "Annie", b. October 2, 1947


Vergil spent his early years working on his parents' rice and cattle ranch with summer hunting and fishing trips to Chester. Terri

When he was 16, Vergil soloed in a biplane Stearman crop duster on his father's ranch. Terri

Korean War:
Hoping to become a pilot, the Navy instead made him a welder and he served on the USS Ajax, a repair ship that worked on other vessels damaged during the war. Terri

After the War:
Vergil went to work for AeroJet in Sacramento where he welded titanium and thigh-tensile alloys used for spacecraft. His welding brand is on display on the first Titan rockets launched into space at the Smithsonian. Terri

With little other than his friend Tim Smith, Vergil launched the All Weld Machine and Fabrication Company in San Jose, California. They performed difficult jobs and were soon making machines for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and doing contracts for NASA. Terri

Vergil developed an interest in midget racers and later sprint cars. He liked to build them and tinker with their engines to get the best performance. Terri

Vergil's Sprint Car No. 14 the "Apple Annie Special" with Tim Green at the wheel won the California State Championship. Terri

Spring 2000:
Vergil and a pilot friend flew his Beech Bonanza from California to Eastern Canada and back visiting 15 states and a province along the way. Terri

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