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Apparent Drowning Claims Life of Wrestling Fixture

Posted: Friday, November 30th, 2012 at 12:12 pm
Author: KNIA/KRLS News-Dr. Bob Leonard & Aaron Gernes

A rural Marion County man has died in an apparent drowning. The body of 78-year-old Richard Owens was recovered early this morning. Owens went out yesterday afternoon to do maintenance on a pond on his property north of Swan. His family called 911 at around 3am this morning after becoming concerned about the possible drowning. Owens lived at 175 35th Place, located north of the river.

Owens, who was nicknamed “Red,” was a fixture in the Southeast Polk School District, where he served as wrestling coach for nearly 30 years until 1993. The Southeast Polk wrestling website calls him the “godfather” of Southeast Polk wresting – he coached two individual state champions and won eleven team conference titles. Owens is also a member of the Iowa High School Wrestling Hall of Fame.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Emergency Management, Runnells Rescue, and Pleasant Hill Rescue all responded to the scene.