USS Robert A. Owens Shipmates Association
This page will contain the obituaries of those shipmates (members and non-members) that have passed in the recent past that are reported and confirmed. If no Obituary can be found, the notification will be posted only.


This pages is reserved for the announcements of those shipmates that have taken the final voyage. We pray that their passing is calm and peaceful and that their rewards are great. Our thoughts and prayers go with them and to their families.

Paul Witkowski, 78, of Port Clinton, Ohio passed away on June 22, 2018 at Otterbein North Shore, Lakeside -Marblehead. He was born in Milwaukee, WI on May 20, 1940 to Anton J. and Florence H. (Kostrzewa) Witkowski. On November 14, 1964 in Mequon, WI, he married Jean R. Gies and she survives.
         Paul was a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy serving from 1957-61, stationed aboard the USS Robert A. Owens and the USS Tidewater. In his later years he became active in the organizations associated with each of the ships, attending reunions and keeping in touch with his shipmates. Paul was a proud Spartan having received his Bachelor and Masters Degrees from Michigan State University. Paul spent his career in higher education as an Associate Director of the Telecommunications Center at Ohio University, from which he retired in 2002. He also served as an Instructional Television Administrator at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and as a Producer/Director at Michigan State.
         Paul was a very creative person who enjoyed working with his hands and had a keen interest in scrimshaw. He loved antiquing, particularly early American maritime items and folklore. He was a member of the AMVETS, the Ohio University Trustees Academy and was past president of the Owens Assn. Many will remember Paul as one who enjoyed life, who was a jokester, a great storyteller, a motorcycle enthusiast, an avid Green Bay Packers fan and a karaoke singer.
         Surviving Paul is his beloved wife Jean, son, Joel D. (Rebekah) Witkowski, his loving grandchildren who called him “Weepa”, Gabriella Marie, Cara Elizabeth, Anton Alexander. Also surviving are his brother, Thomas (Sandy) Witkowski, sister, Victoria (Lawrence) Mack, and his faithful canine companion, Murray. Paul was preceded in death by his parents and brother, David Witkowski.
         A service to celebrate Paul's life will be conducted on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at the Firelands Presbyterian Church, 2626 East Harbor Road, Port Clinton, OH with the Reverend Mark Cooper officiating. Visitation is scheduled for 2 hours prior to the service. A meal will be provided at the church immediately following the service. Paul's final resting place will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. The family suggests memorial contributions for Paul be directed to Stein Hospice, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, Ohio 44870 or to Shriner's Hostpitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Gerner-Wolf-Walker Funeral Home & Crematory, 216 Washington St., Port Clinton, OH 43452.

         To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Paul Witkowski, please visit our Tribute Store.


*Editors Note: Paul Witkowski was the President of the USS Robert A. Owens Shipmates Association from the year 2005 to 2009.

Unfortunately, many times we learn of a Shipmates passing long after they have passed. Since December we have learned of the following:
Ben Wainscott 69-71 STGCS 2018
Wade Burnside 49-53 BT2 2012
Thomas Kinsberg 65-67 LT 2017
John Hill 54-55 MMFN 2019
Alan B. Flanagan 72-73 LCDR/Capt 2020