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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Christian Duvall Owen: Silver Taps

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Courtesy of the Owen family
Silver Taps: Christian Duvall Owen

Christian was a light in the lives of all he met.

Those who knew environmental studies senior Christian Owen knew him as a helping hand, a kind heart and a spreader of joy. Though he grew up attending small schools, his mother, Kelly, said he knew right away Texas A&M was the right college for him. 

“I think, to some extent, we were a little concerned about the size of A&M and he said, ‘No, it’s absolutely where I am supposed to be, the values and caliber of it are where I belong, and I want to have to stretch and make the transition from a class of 100 to something the size of A&M,’” Kelly said. 

While he originally planned to study ranch management or another agricultural major, at A&M Christian found a love and appreciation for the environment, which was deepened through his studies.

“He realized the environment was where his truest passion was,” Kelly said. “He just so loved that [environmental studies] program at A&M. He’d call every day and share things from his classes that he had learned and research that they studied. He was just soaking it all in, and it had led him to the decision that he wanted to do environmental law and was going to take the LSAT this summer.”

Christian’s father, Steve, said he could be very persuasive when it came to his environmental passion.

“I was in the oil and gas business for 45 years and he and I had a lot of discussions about it,” Steve said. “He convinced me to go on ‘the dark side,’ which was his side. He was very convincing and he was an excellent debater.” 

In all parts of life, Christian shared his joy of life with everyone he met, during good and bad times, going out of his way to make people smile. Steve recalled Christian picking up a friend in the middle of the night after a car accident and taking the time to sit with her.

“She had a lot of girl friends she could’ve called, but she called him because she knew he’d be there,” Steve said. “Everything anyone would ever ask [of him] he would do.”

His overwhelming light is also remembered by his sister, Kaitlin, who wrote the following in an email to The Battalion.

“He oozed southern hospitality/geniality with his polite manners, twinkling blue eyes, mischievous grin and infectious laugh,” Kaitlin wrote. “He was always the funniest person in the room … He possessed that rare ability to make you laugh until you cry or run out of breath. In our family, we used to joke that he could never get in trouble because he would make our mom laugh so hard that she forgot the issue in the first place.” 

Christian was a member of the Iron Spikes, a men’s social, spirit and service organization at A&M, and will be remembered through the organization’s Christian Owen Award, given to a member who “exemplifies a personal attitude and leads by positivity and respect.” Psychology senior and Iron Spikes president Luke Werner said through this award, Christian’s legacy will live on. 

“He is just so kind and selfless, there was not a single bad bone in his body,” Werner said. “Every single action he made was out of the kindness of his heart for other people. He respected everyone and everything, he always treated other people with respect and was never mean or condescending to anybody. He was the person who would always bring people up rather than knock them down.”

To honor Christian, the Iron Spikes organization held a memorial service in lieu of a normal weekly meeting, and invited everyone to stand and share their memories. Though his loss was difficult, Werner said even in his passing, he brought people together. 

“Even in his absence he was connecting people … for a lot of these people it was their first time experiencing any death, it hit them pretty hard, even the people who didn’t know him super well,” Werner said. “Even when he wasn’t there, he made everyone grow closer, which is what he was so good at doing the whole time.”

Christian will also be remembered through a scholarship in his name at his alma mater, the Casady School. This is the first named scholarship in the school’s history, Kelly said. 

“It was because of the kind of person and student that Christian was that they didn’t bat an eye,” Kelly said, “Christian would want that opportunity to be given to somebody who wouldn’t have that opportunity any other way, and had the character and the drive and leadership.”

During the Iron Spikes memorial, Werner said a member encouraged everyone to ‘just live like Christian,’ a charge that Kaitlin echoed in her email. 

“My family will forever mourn the loss of our best friend, son and brother,” Kaitlin wrote. “We will always have an enormous hole in our hearts, minds and souls. Despite this inconceivable circumstance, we will do our best to honor his credo and contribute to his ongoing legacy. We hope that anyone who reads this will do the same. Live fully, love unwaveringly and leave this world better than you found it.”

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