Sen. Neal: Reflecting on Rep. Darryl Owens

Submitted by Sen. Gerald Neal

It has been a whirlwind of emotions since learning about the passing of my former colleague and longtime friend, former State Representative Darryl Owens. We worked alongside one another in the Kentucky General Assembly for 14 years and before that worked in the communities in his service as the C District Commissioner of Jefferson County. During that span, through a collaborative effort, we worked tirelessly to bring a voice to our constituents of Louisville and Kentucky.

Darryl was a revered public servant and pioneer. His focused dedication over his years in public service, along with his commitment to equality, community, and civil rights, is clearly reflected throughout his career in office. In 1983, when first elected as a commissioner of the Jefferson County Fiscal Court, Darryl became the first and only African American to serve in that capacity. He was always a source of insight, support, and inspiration to me personally, and those that worked with him. More than anything, I have lost a dear friend.

The Commonwealth lost a tremendous, thoughtful, and decent man. I extend my condolences to his wife Brenda and the family and friends who are affected by his loss. I will certainly miss my longtime friend and colleague, but I will never forget our camaraderie and the many lessons he taught me or the ventures large and small that we shared.