KARENA MARIE “GREENY” OWEN
Karena Marie Greeny Owen, 41 of Rancho Cucamonga, California went home to her Savior on April 24, 2020 after a courageous four year battle with cancer. Karena was born in Port Angeles, Washington on October 9, 1978 to Burdette Owen Greeny and the late Cynthia Colson Greeny. Karena was an exceptional athlete and loved the way sports could transcend boundaries and inspire us to work together for a common goal. She was one of the greatest athletes to ever graduate from Port Angeles High School. She was the league Most Valuable Player in Basketball and Soccer and was the greatest thrower in the history of Port Angeles High School where she still holds records in the shot put and javelin. In 2019, Karena was inducted into the Port Angeles High School Athletic Hall of fame. Karena attended the University of Hawaii on a basketball scholarship. She was a fierce competitor, led Hawaii in scoring and was Team Captain her senior year. Former Hawaii Womens Basketball Coach Vince Goo described Karena as one of the greatest success stories of student athletes in the University of Hawaii program. According to Coach Goo, she was a leader and made an effort to get everyone to think about the team and not individuals. Hawaii Assistant Coach Serenda Valdez considered it a privilege to be Karenas coach and to watch her grow into a responsible and loving teacher, coach, wife and mother. Assistant Coach Da Houl noted that Karenas unwavering positive attitude made the team stronger and Assistant Coach George Wolfe remembers she was truly a team player who cared about and encouraged her teammates on and off the court. Karena met her future husband, Dustin Owen, at the University of Hawaii when he was a member of the WAC Championship Football Team. Karena studied elementary education and completed her student teaching at Momilani Elementary School on the island of Oahu. After graduating from the University of Hawaii, Karena moved to Southern California to pursue her dream of teaching young children. She was an exceptional teacher who motivated students to achieve their potential. She worked as a teacher and coach for the Pomona Unified School District and she believed she learned as much from the students as they did from her. Karena once wrote that she had the absolute joy of teaching every day and there was nothing like helping young people succeed. Her positive attitude, infectious smile and outgoing personality brought students, administrators and faculty together as she battled cancer. It was not unusual to have students, teachers, and parents send her messages, texts or videos as she sat in chemotherapy over the last four academic years. The support of the friends she made through high school and collegiate sports and in her role as a teacher truly meant the world to her. Karena married Dustin Loyal Owen on April 22, 2006 and they had two children, Kale (10) and Sydney (9). While she was a gifted athlete, talented educator and passionate sports fan, Karenas faith and family were the most important aspects of her life. Karena and Dustin were members of the First Presbyterian Church of Upland where Karena, Kale and Sydney were baptized. Her enthusiasm, energy and positive attitude were always present. In 2019, while undergoing chemotherapy, Karena volunteered to coach her sons soccer team. Nothing brought her more joy than her family. She was a dedicated coach, a passionate fan and a wise advisor when they needed her. As she became increasingly aware of her own mortality, she set out to make memories with her family and friends rather than dwell on her own health. She fought valiantly for more time so that she could impart life lessons on her children. Karena enjoyed going to sporting events, playing with her dogs at the beach, riding bikes with her family, hiking in Big Bear and spending time at the lake with friends. She often remarked that cancer had a unique way of making her realize what is really important. Instead of focusing on the outcome of her diagnosis, she filled her thoughts with what she had in her life. As Karena battled cancer over the last several years, she often reflected on the words of the late Jimmy Valvano who, in dealing with his own cancer battle, encouraged people to never give up. In her journal, Karena noted that she will thank God for the days and moments she had and whatever God has in store for me, you better believe I am using my time with a full, grateful and loving heart. Cancer may have taken her physical abilities, but she believed it could not touch her mind, her heart, or her soul. Karena will be missed by the many people she touched in her life including former teammates, students, colleagues, coaches, and especially her family and friends. She is preceded in death by her mother, Cynthia Colson Greeny, her mother in law Mary Owen, and her grandparents. In addition to Dustin, Kale and Sydney, Karena is survived her father Burdette Owen Greeny (Lily), brother and sister in laws, Deborah Owen and Jim Abatti, Deven and Kelly Owen, Darin Owen, brother Burdette Greeny and his wife Jen and nieces and nephews Jordan, Cameron and Madison Abatti, Dallas and Aspen Owen and Lauren and Leah Greeny. A Celebration of Life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Upland, California when we are once again able to gather together. The Karena Greeny Owen Memorial Scholarship for female student athletes in Port Angeles, Washington has been established through the Port Angeles Education Foundation. Donations In Karenas name can be made by mail to PO Box 787, Port Angeles, Washington 98362 or online at www.PA-EF.org.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased