Dr. James Michael Owens, PhD 1953 – 2020
Jim Owens was born on November 14, 1953 in Amityville, Long Island, New York to James G. and Doris T. Owens. In May, Jim ascended due to natural causes while at home on his Colorado ranch.
He was an exuberantly intelligent, creative, playfully humorous, multi-faceted, multi-talented, independent visionary, and a guiding light to many.
Jim graduated from Seton Hall High School, located, at the time, in Patchogue, LI, NY. In 1975, Jim graduated from St. Bonaventure University, located in Olean, NY. He majored in Psychology with minors in Biology and Theater. He continued on to further his education by obtaining his Master of Arts and Education with a degree in ‘Therapeutic Recreation’ from New York University in 1979. He was a member of ‘Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities’. While studying and researching for his Master’s thesis, Jim’s appreciation for Performing Arts enabled him to be very successful while leading activity groups in art, music, dance, poetry, writing, yoga and meditation. His fluency in Spanish enabled him to successfully conduct interviews with the non-English speaking patients. In 1997, Jim obtained his PhD from Capella University with a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies. His studies were augmented with extensive travel throughout the Southwest U.S., Mexico, Peru, Panama, Ireland, and the Isle of Man.
While in NYC, he started therapeutic recreation programs at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Neurological Institute and Blueberry Psychiatric Hospital and worked as a Recreation Therapist in the Residency Training Ward at Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, Rusk Institute and Sloan-Kettering Hospitals. Jim was always involved in theatre productions at a young age, he concurrently appeared in numerous theatrical productions, provided talent for voiceovers, commercials, and performed for many recording projects and concerts as tenor soloist. In the early 1980’s when Jim moved, from New York to Denver, he continued performances as tenor soloist and served as cantor for Fitzsimons Army Medical Center military post in Aurora, CO.
In Denver, Jim was the founder and executive director of a non-profit corporation from, 1982-2001, offering educational and therapeutic arts programming to disenfranchised people in the metropolitan Denver community. The entrepreneurship curriculum was licensed and approved by the division of private occupational schools, Colorado Department of Higher Education. He helped many graduate and undergraduate students by providing supervision for university internships within the center’s curriculum. The students attended from across the country and around the globe, including Mexico, Israel, and Egypt. These internships represented the fields of creative arts therapies, social work, human services and counseling. While providing direction and guidance to the clients, interns and employees of that center, Jim developed an LLC, offering personal and property development opportunities in San Acacio, CO. He also offered Creative Arts Retreats at the same location on his ranch in San Acacio.
Congrats to Jim on his many lifetime achievements including: Candidate for a PBS documentary, “Visionaries”, “20th Century Award for Achievement, Cambridge, England.”, “Who’s Who in America, INC Magazine”, “Entrepreneur of the Year”, and Denver Magazine “People to Watch”. Also, Jim produced a number of videos about the arts in therapy, which have won local and national awards and have aired on cable and national television. The one most significant to Jim was “Where Healing is an Art”.
Jim purposefully spent his years uplifting vulnerable communities, traveling, singing, meditating, practicing a yogic lifestyle, playing and teaching cello, enjoying wine, composting, reading, journaling, walking, visitors, expanding his comfort zone, snowshoeing, developing new ideas for the land on his ranch and rescuing and caring for 3 beautiful freedom-loving cats.
You’ll be missed, Jim…. for everything perfectly unique to you, but especially for your ability to recommend that we “bury it in the backyard”, see “Wuzzles” as something that “would always work out” and for all the other Jimisms that you have left us in your too-short 66 years of life.
Thank you so graciously Jim for all the gifts you offered us here. You inspired and shined brightly; the cosmos are singing sonorously to welcome you home.
With love and peace on your ascension from all of us here on earth and above.