Walter L. Owens, firefighter

Walter L. Owens, a firefighter for more than 40 years who retired in 1980 as assistant chief of the Dulles International Airport fire department, died Dec. 8 at home in Lottsburg, Va. He was 85.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said a son, Thomas Owens.

Contrails from jet planes passing overhead intersect the National Museum of Art in Washington, Thursday morning, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Walter Lee Owens was born in Tuxedo, Md., and he was an Army veteran of World War II. Early in his career, he was a firefighter at Andrews Air Force Base. He was also a member of the Tuxedo-Cheverly Volunteer Fire Department, where he became fire chief and president.

In 1961, he began his service at Dulles Airport.

He moved to Lottsburg, in Northumberland County, from Sterling, Va., about 10 years ago.

Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Gladys Boswell Owens of Lottsburg; three children, Robin Deluca of Warrenton, Va., Thomas Owens of Winchester, Va. and Terrell Owens of Beltsville, Md.; a sister, Dorothy Yancowsky of Martinsburg, W.Va.; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes