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Grace Personified: My Friend, Ernie Owen :: Making Ideas Matter | Yates & Yates Blog

Grace Personified: My Friend, Ernie Owen

By · Mar 02 2012

On Tuesday the world lost the presence of one of its most important citizens.  Ernest E. (“Ernie”) Owen stepped onto the streets of gold and Heaven gained the presence of one of its most important examples of the personification of grace.  There is certainly great rejoicing on those golden streets today and they are shouting that “Ernie has come home!” 

I first met Ernie in 1980 through our professional relationships – he was a senior editor at Word Publishing in Waco, Texas and I was an attorney representing one of his favorite people, author and pastor Chuck Swindoll.  Ernie told me on more than one occasion that he considered Chuck to be “his pastor.”  The three of us had a wonderful working relationship for many years through Chuck’s publishing with Ernie and Word. 

Ernie never met a man or a woman that he did not treat like his best friend.  Many would say behind Ernie’s back that he must be a phony person because no one could be that nice and that loving.  I knew Ernie Owen pretty well, not as well as some, but better than most.  I can tell you that there was nothing “phony” about Ernie Owen, even though it was very hard to believe that anyone could be as “good” as Ernie was.  His goodness was very real. 

Ernie was always a man of his word, and a man of peace, joy and kindness.  I learned more about how to treat a woman from Ernie than I learned from anyone before or since.  He was grace personified in every relationship he had on this earth. 

Ernie was always ready to do for you, or anyone else who crossed his path, anything he could do to brighten your day and help you accomplish whatever you wanted to accomplish.  I never had a cross word with Ernie Owen in all the years that I worked with him professionally, through the many, many publishing contracts we negotiated together.  He was a loyal and extremely competent employee.  He was an incredible man.

It was always a joy when my secretary would tell me that Ernie Owen was on the phone and wanted to talk with me, no matter how difficult the conversation, or the contract to be negotiated.  If ever there was a man whom I had privilege to know and work with that I thought exemplified Jesus, it was my friend, Ernest E. Owen.  I have missed him so much since he and Pauline retired and moved to that retirement home they loved down in San Diego and we no longer did business together.  I did have the joy of driving down to play golf with him from time to time and we shared a meal or other fellowship now and then.  The world certainly seems a place that is much the lesser now that Ernie has gone on to accept the rewards he earned as an ambassador for Christ. 

I love you, Ernie.  I wish I had been able to say goodbye.  But, I look forward to having you greet me when the day comes for us to sit down and catch up again in that house that Jesus prepared for you and that you will use to be that personification of grace throughout eternity. 

Because some who read this blog post may want to also honor Ernie in a tangible way, the family has offered these two options:

Mt. Miguel Covenant Village Benevolence Fund

c/o Luverne Sands

Mt. Miguel Covenant Village

325 Kempton St.

Spring Valley, CA  91977

In Honor of Ernest E. Owen


Scripps Health Foundation

10666 North Torrey Pines Road 109N

La Jolla, CA 92037

In memory of Ernest E. Owen for the benefit of the cardiology research at Scripps Clinic

(Donations cards will be sent to the attention of Pauline Owen)

Notes of encouragement can be sent to Ernie’s wonderful widow, Pauline Owen, at:

325 Kempton St., # 1004

Spring Valley, CA  91977

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  1. Thanks for writing this, Sealy. Gail and I re out of the country for the next two weeks, so I would not have known about this had I not read it on your blog.

    Ernie was my editorial mentor. I worked for him at Word before I moved from Waco to go to work at Thomas Nelson in Nashville. He was such a delight and such an encouragement. I quote him to this day on so many things.

    HIs life will echo into eternity!

  2. Marlene Owen says:

    The outpouring of love for my Daddy is one of the best gifts a daughter could receive when she has to say ‘good-bye’ for an unknown period of time to the man who was the most consumate gentle-man in her life. But the hope in knowing that some day he and I will be together again — for eternity — makes it bearable. He was a wonderful father, a great friend, a masterful professional, and a wise man.

    Sealy, thank you for honoring Daddy on your blog.

  3. Bruce Narramore says:

    Thanks so much, Sealy, fo your remembrances of Ernie. I agree completely. One of the greatest men and gentlemen I have ever know. I had the privilege of working with Ernie when he was Sr. Editor at Revel and talked me into publishing Adolescence Is Not an Illness with Revel. An extremely happy relationship ensued and the book was a success. I’m only sorry I haven’t been in touch in recent years since his retirement. Had I know he was living in the San Diego area I would definitely driven down to visit Ernie and his wife on occasion.

    Thanks again, and blessing in your important work/ministry.


    PS Just spoke with John Townsend tonight (my former student) and he recommended you highly as an agent for a new project I’m working on. I’ll be in touch.

  4. Sealy, thank you for posting this sweet tribute to Ernie Owen. I was on staff years ago with Christian Booksellers Association as part of the convention management team, and Ernie is one of those gentlemen that you never forget. I remember John Bass, the Executive Director of CBA at that time, and Ernie being such good friends. Heaven is indeed richer for Ernie coming home. I lost my own wonderful father last year and with each one who goes ahead, Heaven becomes even sweeter.

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