By Emily Curtsinger–

On Nov. 24, U of L American Sign Language professor, Timothy Owens, passed away.

Owens, who has been teaching ASL Interpreting Studies at U of L since 1997, took on the role of coordinator in 2007.

According to family, Owen’s life was a rich and colorful tapestry, and he was a consummate learner who shared this passion with students and colleagues.

During his lifetime, he was extremely involved in the ASL community.

Owens was recognized by the National Catholic Office of the Deaf, for outstanding leaderships skills, and also by the American Sign Language Teacher Association, where he was elected president in 2013.

He received the George Veditz award in 2007 for his significant contributions to the field of ASL teaching.

In 1983, he created a camp for deaf children in the Kentuckiana area known as the Mini Deaf Olympics. MDO is a weeklong camp where deaf children and their families come together and compete in Olympic-style sporting competitions. Owens wanted to create a place where deaf children could come together to socialize and gain confidence.

He also served on the Kentucky Board of Interpreters for more than 20 years and established the Deaf Community Center in Louisville.

On the MDO website, there is a quote from Owens that reads, “Today is a new day. Think about what you can do today. Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. Enjoy each minute today.”

A funeral mass was held for Owens on Nov. 27 at St. Louis Bertrand Catholic Church.